SpeakAble Protocols for Pandemic COVID-19

Coronavirus (COVID-19) has officially been declared a pandemic by the World Health Organization (WHO). There are still many unknowns but the information we do have is enough to start making serious changes in our day-to-day lives, including limiting time in public spaces.

It is important to take the pandemic seriously for the safety of your child and the professionals within your child’s circle of care. There are a number of steps we can take to help us stay healthy and to reduce the risk of contracting or transmitting the virus, or any illness, to others.

As speech language pathologists, we must work in close proximity to your child, with the focal point of our sessions revolving around our mouths. It is SpeakAble’s responsibility as a health care practice to implement the following protocols at this early stage of the outbreak to ensure the safety of ourselves, our clients and all of our loved ones. These apply to clinicians, parents and children.

  • Strictly enforced cancellation policy concerning illness, applicable to all parties. You must be symptom-free for 24 hours in order to participate in therapy (without the use of medication). Please cancel your sessions if:
    • If your child is sent home from school sick.
    • If your child, SLP or someone in their respective homes presents with any of the following: fever of over 99 degrees, a persistent cough, or respiratory issues.
    • If the child or SLP has a cold (runny nose, sneezing).
    • If your child is coughing or sneezing and has not yet learned how to cover their mouth. 
    • If your child appears ill, the clinician may end the session at her discretion.
    • If you or someone you have come in contact with has been at a location with a confirmed or suspected outbreak of COVID-19, or has travelled in the past 2 weeks to a city with COVID-19, you are required to provide notice immediately and sessions will be put on hold for 2 weeks or until symptom free.
  • Hand washing and disinfecting:
    • The clinician and child will wash or sanitize their hands before and after every session.
    • If a child puts their fingers in their mouth or nose, the clinician will take your child to wash his or her hands.
    • The clinician will disinfect all toys used during sessions after each session or as needed.
  • Education:
    • Stay informed and up to date about coronavirus. Avoid places in your city with known contamination.
    • Eat healthy, get plenty of rest and drink lots of fluids to keep your body ready to fight a potential hazard.
    • If your child is old enough to ask you questions about coronavirus, consider talking to them directly instead of letting them obtain their facts from their peers. This is where misinformation, fear and even bullying can come from. “Give them information at a level that is accessible to them”. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kJG595x9gZs

Cancellations due to the above policies will not be penalized or charged late fees if you notify your clinician immediately. Due to COVID-19 and the need to practice social distancing, we will allow all parents to temporarily suspend sessions at any time. Remember that we do offer video sessions via Doxy Me, a secure, HIPPA-compliant tele-health service. If you are interested please inquire with your clinician if this would be appropriate for your child’s goals. Please do not hesitate to let us know if you have any questions regarding these protocols or recommendations.

Thank you all for your attention to the matter, and stay healthy!

Tamara Paull

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