- Clear Specific Directions – When a child enters your therapy room whether a new or returning client, teaching clear and specific expectations is a must. Many times we as therapists review our therapy procedures with the children, but do not take the needed time to specifically teach the expectations. Be clear and specific in your wording when teaching your therapy procedures. Children want to follow the guidelines set, but we must make sure we take the time to teach them.
- Short Memorable Parts – As you are teaching your therapy room procedures, make sure to break the information down into short memorable parts for the children. Depending on their age will determine the how short and concise the procedures are worded. Sharing therapy room procedures in this manner will make it easier for them to understand, learn and remember.
- Display Procedures – Providing visual opportunities for the children to easily see the therapy room procedures will be very helpful. As you begin to create your display of procedures, make sure to use simple wording with easy to see and font with larger text, appropriate spacing of words, and limit the wording displayed. When a visual is overloaded with pictures and text, some children become overwhelmed. Keeping visual reminders simple may help reduce anxiety in some children.
- Practice, Practice, Practice – When teaching the procedures in your therapy room, take time to model what you expect. Then, ask the children to demonstrate your expectations one by one. This may be done with your small group or individually. You will know what is best for their learning, and it may take time for the children to understand, learn, and remember your procedures, and that is okay. You may consider practicing or reviewing your procedures each therapy session or once a week until you feel the children understand the expectations. Keep in mind, it is just as important to teach them what to do and it is to teach the children what NOT to do.
- Share, Share, Share – Share with parents and teachers your therapy room procedures. The more they know the more they can support you in providing therapy to their children. You may consider creating a handout/visual using the same wording and pictures you created for your classroom, but on a smaller scale to share with parents and teachers.
Wishing you all the best,