From the Clinic (May 2020)

posted Apr 29, 2020, 5:55 PM by San Jose Scottish Rite

I have been thinking about how to write the article for the newsletter this month. So much has changed in the last five weeks with the onset of a world pandemic and COVID-19. It has touched each and every one of us in some fashion or another. Our clinic started Teletherapy the week of March 16 and we successfully transitioned nearly all of the clinic’s caseload to Teletherapy, all without skipping one week of therapy for the children we service.  We have been busy researching evidence based practices and how to best provide services to the families and the children we are dedicated to help, like David.

David is an 11 year old boy who is such a pleasure to work with. He plays the cello, enjoys challenging board games like Othello, and makes people laugh with his quick witted humor and easy-going attitude. David has been coming to the Scottish Rite Childhood Speech and Language Clinic for stuttering therapy. He has been learning how to use specific stuttering modification and fluency-shaping tools. Therapy has also focused on attitudes and emotions that surround stuttering to help educate David, his family, and others in David’s community about stuttering. Therapy has incorporated his family into therapy, such as his mom, dad and older brother so they can learn how to use the tools too. He has also participated in a fluency therapy group with another peer to discuss feelings, gain perspective, and practice tools. Rose, David’s mom, has noted that she “understands David’s feelings and struggles better” since he started therapy. She stated that the “Most rewarding thing for me is to be able to focus on what he is trying to say rather than how he says it. Also, I can be the safe person for David because he knows that I will never judge him [about] his stuttering.” Rose sees the value of our clinic and what we do, “I can never express how grateful I am to have Ms. Sense to be David’s speech pathologist. She shows her understanding and compassion for David, she educates me and [gives] me lots of support…This clinic is truly a gracious gift to our community.”

It is a gracious gift and we are so thankful to continue helping our families. Research from our national governing association, The American Speech and Hearing Association, has shown that Teletherapy for speech and language treatment is just as beneficial as that of in-person therapy. While not as widely used prior to the onset of COVID-19, Teletherapy has become the only way to provide therapy since the shelter-at-home orders were given. Families are tremendously thankful that our clinic can continue to provide services, especially because many families are not receiving any therapy at this time due to the pandemic. We are continuing with our mission to help children in our community in need; we are forging a new way of accomplishing our goal, and it is amazing to see how our clinic is still making a significant impact. We are thankful for your continued support and the children and their families are grateful for the ongoing help during such a tumultuous time. God bless our clinic, the families we help, and each of you and your families.