TBL Newsletter – September 28, 2020
Here are a handful of great ideas for pediatric therapy, business and life:
Links with an * are affiliate links. Read more here.
AN AMAZING APP FOR STRUGGLING READERS
Learning Ally is a genius audiobook app and library for children (or adults) with documented learning disabilities.
It allows you to listen to a book while you follow along with the text. The text is highlighted as the book is narrated.
This app is so cool because it
- helps kids visualize what they’re hearing
- improves focus
- provides visual anchors to prevent line skipping
- is super easy to use (you can put it on a mobile phone)
- is evidenced-based
School districts have begun to implement it with their special education and resource programs. There’s also an app for home use.
Because of their licensing agreements with publishers, they are only allowed to sell the app to people with documented learning disabilities (you have to submit documentation). Once you are approved, the cost is $135 a year.
You can browse their library here.
HOW TO BE ON TV
PR is a very effective (and free!) marketing strategy for your practice, but it can be really uncomfortable for those of us who hate being in the spotlight.
Over the course of my career I’ve been asked to give quotes for websites, interviews for magazines and photographs for newspaper articles relating to OT. Occasionally I’ve been asked to discuss therapy topics on television. These aren’t things they prepare you for in OT school.
I’m a pretty introverted person, so being in the news is not my idea of a good time. Yet, the reality of business is that you have to put yourself out there or you’ll have no business.
If you practice long enough, you’ll likely have opportunities to contribute to articles and podcasts. Here are some pointers that may help you. These are things I wish I had known before I ever started a business.
- If you are asked to give an interview, prepare ahead of time with more examples, case studies, statistics, etc., than you think you’ll need. Having quick facts or anecdotes will help keep the conversation going and make you look like a real expert.
- It’s probably going to feel awkward. Fake it til you make it, as they say. Feel the awkwardness and do it anyway. You will not die of awkwardness.
- If you are asked to be interviewed for a podcast, etc., you’re there because people view you as an expert and that can be super scary. But remember this: your job is to sound like an expert, whether you feel like one or not. Make statements of fact, and do it with confidence. Using words like may be, might, sometimes, usually, and possibly can create doubt about what you are saying.
- Any time you are interviewed or photographed, grab a link to the article or podcast and put it in your website. Make sure you are publicizing your publicity. PR is a gift that can keep on giving, but you have to take the initiative.
- Never underestimate the power of PR to boost your image in the community. No one has any idea how other people get to be on TV. When they see you on TV they’ll think “Wow, she must really be an expert if the News At 5 team is interviewing her about autism.”
- Don’t sit on an opportunity. Journalists are busy and are often given really tight deadlines. If you get a phone call asking for an interview, accept it immediately even if you don’t feel ready. Hesitating for half an hour can often mean losing the opportunity to someone else.
Here’s a practical guide on to how to handle publicity.
If you want to learn more about how to get free PR, this is a great, beginner-friendly book: Free PR*.
WHAT IT’S LIKE TO GET EI SERVICES AS A CHILD
We are all guilty of failing to understand the child’s perspective when providing therapy. Not just in the moment, but in a holistic way. What’s it like to be a child who has to get therapy for years at a time?
I recently came across an article written by a graduate of early intervention services. It’s written as a letter to parents of children in therapy, which makes it very shareable.
- Consistency is everything
- Don’t discount a child’s ability to understand the world just because he can’t express his thoughts and feelings in words
- Learn to see your child’s individual differences and figure out how to communicate those preferences and needs to his teachers and therapists – always be advocating
- Relentlessly focus on your child’s strengths even if the rest of the world focuses on his disabilities
You can read the article here.
SOMETHING TO THINK ABOUT
“The main lesson I have learned about children with complex conditions is that you can’t just treat what is observable—the obvious core symptoms of autism; you must look below the surface to the root causes of problems, deeper into the biology of the child, to find solutions.”
–Theresa Hamlin, Autism And The Stress Effect*
REFLECTIVE PRACTICE QUESTION
How do you help parents “look below the surface” when dealing with their child’s challenging behaviors?
Have a great week!
Ashley King, MSR, OTR/L
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P.P.S. We are really proud to be sponsoring the 2020 STAR Sensory Symposium!
Click the image to sign up (scholarship opportunities are available)!