The title of this post is a sentiment I hear from parents all to often. I’ve heard many reasons for this comment, including:
- “He started to have a melt down and I couldn’t remember any of the strategies to help him…”
- “I thought I understood after group, but by the time I got home I couldn’t remember anything…”
- “I know you gave us a handout, but couldn’t remember where I put it…”
I realized my job of educating the parents needed to get even better than the 10-15 minutes I have after each session to talk to them. And paper handouts were doing part of the job, but they didn’t always have the paper with them. Even when I began e-mailing the handouts to the parents, they didn’t always have time to catch a great learning moment because they were scrambling to find the document in their e-mail!
One day I’d heard the sentiment above after another great parent education moment and it hit me — I *can* be in the heads! Ok ok, not literally. But what do almost ALL parents walk into our therapy space with? Technology!! It can come in the form of smart phones, tablet devices, mp3 players and/or laptops. So many parents miss me calling out that we are all done. Why? Headphones and/or bluetooth devices. That was my ticket in!
The Ticket In ...
Now when I first had this idea, I was *not* allowed to do this. The company I worked for had some extreme reservations, so I respected that. But now I have my own private practice, so I am free to see if this meets the parents’ needs. What I’m doing is weekly e-mailing home quick audio clips to each family. Each ~2 minute clip includes:
- A summary of this week’s session
- The ‘why’ behind this weeks’s lessons/activities
- How to work on it at home
- Some words of encouragement – everyone needs some of those!
And the best part? It takes me less than 5 minutes – from recording, to saving, to sending home! Less than 5 minutes and my students might be more successful across environments?! Technology for the win!Now to answer the burning question in your brain … “how is she doing this in less than 5 minutes after each session?!”
After reading many reviews for audio recording apps, I downloaded Audio Memo Lite onto my iPad. I love this app for so many reasons:
- Super easy to overwrite a section of my audio, which means I can redo sections of my recording without starting again from the beginning.
- I can transfer the file wirelessly from my iPad to my computer as long as they are both on the same wifi network through a very simple process
- Automatically saves the files as a .wav, which is compatible with practically everything
- I can email files smaller than 3MB directly from my iPad or upload directly to my dropbox or box.net account.
As soon as you download the app, it directs you to a great youtube video that clearly explains how to use the app. I only watched about half of it and felt ready to go!
Now, the benefit of the paid app is that I can email and upload audio files larger than 3MB, and even send it directly to some of my social media networks. And for $.99 … why not?!
So far, the response has been GREAT! Parents are downloading the audio file onto their mobile devices and listening to it throughout the week to help them review how to work with their child. I’m hoping to get a few less specific “mini-podcasts” up on my site as well to continue educating parents!
I hope this has been helpful to you – feel free to e-mail me or comment with any questions. And let me know if you give this a whirl yourself!
– Speechy Keen SLP
(images by timtak via flickr and from iTunes)