What is a Single Strategy Session?
(or SSS for short as it is a bit of a mouthful!)
The single strategy session is one of our many initiatives to help kids access speech pathology sooner. We know waiting lists are frustrating for parents. We also know that early intervention is important. This is why we developed the single strategy session model so parents get coached in a number of ways that we can help children who are waiting get a kickstart on their treatment program.
This blog explains how the SSS system works and more importantly, how it can help you get your child help sooner!
How do strategy sessions help?
Communication is complex! Building communication, reading and spelling skills is a team effort involving the child, caregivers, teachers, speech pathologists and community supports.
Strategy sessions are based on the treatment approaches that focus on the speech pathologists coaching parents to deliver therapy. These treatment approaches fall under the umbrella term parent-child interaction therapy (PCIT). There are a variety of PCIT interventions that are available for building language skills.
They focus on coaching parents how to:
- modify the home environment
- modify their communication style
The rationale for the approaches is that the intervention is more naturalistic. Firstly, the interactions occur in the child’s home and social environments. Also, the approaches aim to promote more opportunities for meaningful interactions with the child throughout the week.
These approaches have been found to be effective in addressing child’s speech and language difficulties (Sone et al, 2021).
Why Early Intervention is important
Waiting lists for speech pathology can be long, so it is important to get your child on the waitlist as soon as possible. Early intervention is one of the best things you can do for your child’s speech and language development. The brain of a young child is developing so much in the first five years of life. This is why children are very responsive early intervention. By getting your child seen at a younger age, it allows them to develop stronger communication skills.
It also helps with their social and emotional development.
We don’t want your child missing out on opportunities to develop their communication skills because of the national shortage of speech pathologists.
We want to find other ways to help more children! This is why we promote the single strategy sessions!
What does the strategy session look like?
Families told us they just want to know HOW to help their child. AND we listened!
This is why we introduced our SSS system.
First, your child’s communication is assessed. Then, the speech pathologist shows you a strategy that will help your child. You practice this strategy in the therapy session and the speech pathologist coaches you so you feel confident practising it at home with your child.
Therapy sessions reflect effective adult learning. Each single strategy session has the following outline:
- The speech pathologist outlines the strategy
- The speech pathologist demonstrates the strategy with your child
- They narrate how they are implementing the strategy
- You practice the strategy with your child
- Both the speech pathologist and you discuss how the practice went and how to action this strategy at home.
You continue to focus on this strategy until your next SSS. Alternatively, we contact you to attend for a weekly Talk Block.
How do I get booked in for a SSS?
SSS appointments are typically offered when regular clients are not able to attend. This may be due to illness or planned absences. This is why they may be on different days or at different times. Once we know a family is unable to attend we will send a text message to one of our SSS families. We ask you to let us know if you can attend this appointment or not by a specific deadline. This enables us time to offer it to the next SSS family if you can’t attend. We have found that this helps us help clients who would otherwise be waiting for months to be seen.
Feedback has been very positive with some parents describing the single strategy sessions as “empowering” and “rewarding”.
SSS not suitable for everyone
A SSS appointment is different to regular weekly therapy that occurs in a Talk Block.
We understand that the short notice does not suit every family. It really depends on your child and your family’s circumstances. If you find this service option is not right for your family, just let us know!
Your place on the waiting list is not affected if you choose not to avail of the single strategy sessions.
Julie Sexton, Senior Speech Pathologist
Sone, B. J., Lee, J., & Roberts, M. Y. (2021). Comparing instructional approaches in caregiver-implemented intervention: An interdisciplinary systematic review and meta-analysis. Journal of Early Intervention. https://doi.org/10.1177/1053815121989807