NOVEMBER 2020 • LONGISLANDPRESS.COM 29
FAMILY FOCUS: CHILDREN WITH SPECIAL NEEDS
Children who receive speech therapy have new obstacles amid the pandemic. (Getty Images)
THE TALKING CURE
EXPERT TIPS ON EASING BACK TO SPEECH THERAPY FOR THE SCHOOL YEAR
BY DONNA DUARTE-LADD
Now that we are into the school year, be it remote or blended, we’re finding that some
students who have had the steepest regressions in learning are kids with special needs.
We spoke with Lori Caplan-Colon, a leading speech-language pathologist specializing
in pediatric feeding disorder and founder of Montclair Speech Therapy, on how kids and
parents can work on their speech learning practices this school year.
Some students with speech delays who have returned or will be returning to school
have unfortunately regressed. Any tips on easing them into more in-person services?
Be sure to check in with the classroom teachers and remind them that your child will need
special care not only in dealing with classroom interactions but also with broader social
interactions with the larger student body.
Let the teachers know that lockup and isolation are especially challenging to a child with
speech disorders as there are a lot fewer opportunities to practice their learned skills.
Explain your concern that a quarantine lifestyle has placed challenges on your child’s ability
to practice with peers and caregivers across environments, which is typically a big part of
the therapeutic process. Perhaps the teachers can keep an eye
out and let you know of any specific issues that arise.
WHAT’S INSIDE continued on page 30
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