CEID’s multidisciplinary approach ensures that each child’s unique needs are at the center of designing services to build skills in all areas of development. A plan to maximize each child’s potential is developed with the whole education team and the family. Key specialists in this team include our expert Speech and Language Therapists and Occupational Therapist, each with years of experience working specifically with young children who are deaf or hard of hearing.
CEID’s licensed Occupational Therapist, Kelli Howie, makes a point to blend occupational therapy with other educational topics during her sessions. A favorite exercise is having children trace letters or numbers in shaving cream with their fingers. This allows students to work on their fine motor skills while also honing “pre-literacy” skills that will serve them well when learning to read and write. It is also extremely fun for young students because they get really messy!
The shaving cream activity fits with one of Kelli’s guiding principles when providing occupational therapy to children, “everything with kids is play.” Kelli sets up obstacle courses for the children to go through with specific gross motor challenges to build their skills. Obstacles include jumping on a trampoline which helps students develop their balance to coordinate limb movement, and rocking on a swing which helps students develop their motor control.
The Speech, Language and Auditory Therapy program is also critical to the specialized work that we do with CEID students. Our Speech and Language Pathologists (SLPs), Carol Lettko and Reyhaneh Rajabzadeh, provide individualized therapy for students. After assessing each child’s language and communication needs, goals are created to focus on areas of development that are showing delays. Language areas include: receptive language (comprehension); expressive language (relaying wants and needs); auditory skills (listening), and articulation skills (producing understandable spoken language).
We work with the whole family, prioritizing their specific concerns to develop personalized goals for their child. Through creative preparation of lesson plans, devising materials, and gathering toys and books, our Speech and Language Therapists create fun play-based, motivating, and engaging sessions while at the same time targeting these goals. The emphasis is on making communication a fun and rewarding experience!
Over the past year, CEID’s therapy programs were enhanced with the addition of teletherapy (online therapy sessions). A significant advantage of conducting the sessions via teletherapy is that the family is an integral part of each and every session, learning first-hand how to continue the skills at home.
We are grateful for the dedicated, innovative and specialized work CEID therapists do each day!