Those of you who know me know how much I talk…I’m a speech therapist right? Well, turns out saying less CAN mean more. I had the pleasure of participating in LSVT LOUD. It is a very dynamic training with research to support its success. It really got me thinking, how can I help my dysphagia clients with what I just learned? I can do a FEES, I can establish how to make a difference, but how do I invest my patient in therapy? If I can make therapy meaningful to my resident, carryover can be successful!
Next time you are getting frustrated with training swallowing strategies, ask yourself:
Why does this matter to the resident?
- Make it a point to connect therapy to their wants and needs…do they want to eat without being embarrassed by their coughing? Do they want to stay healthy for the next 6 months to attend a grandchild’s wedding? Do they want to be able to eat prime rib at that event?
Take a step back. Think about what you are asking of the resident. Focus on their abilities and teach to their abilities.
“Do what I do” are 4 of the most powerful words in teaching a skill. Remove the thinking about what they need to do, stop talking about what they need to do, and teach the skill by example–SHOW what they need to do by doing it yourself first. Show it over and over again, and aim to make it automatic. Be persistent, and be consistent! Gandhi’s wisdom can be taken literally when you practice being the change you wish to see.