How do you motivate young adults to continue working on speech therapy and occupational therapy goals?The answer for Jonathan, now 18 years old, has been the continuity, consistency, and creativity he and his mother have found at Achievement Centers for Children. Jonathan and his mother are integral in establishing his treatment plans, goals, and strategies. It was Jonathan who expressed his desire to write stories. To build on his passion to write, his speech therapist and occupational therapist customized and collaborated on their approaches to help him reach his goals while keeping him excited and looking forward to his next appointments.
Jonathan has been fortunate to have the same speech therapist, Steve McDermott (Mr. Steve) for several years. They have formed a special bond that contributed to the effective sessions they held virtually throughout the pandemic. In his speech therapy, Jonathan dictates stories and reads them back to Mr. Steve which helps improve his speech production of sounds. Many of Jonathan’s stories have his characters traveling to other countries, allowing him to research and learn about other cultures, history, and details to use in his stories. In developing the stories, they use Google searches to research the origin of a word or the name of some Greek or Roman god/goddess so that his stories feel real or true to a reader. They also use Google Translate to develop names for characters that reflect the country where it is taking place.
“Over the past few years of using story generation in his speech therapy sessions, not only has Jonathan improved his articulation and intelligibility of speech, he also has become more organized in his story generation,” said Steve. “He used to have trouble going off on a tangent and not being able to bring the storylines back together for a conclusion. I’ve seen this improve quite a bit.”
Occupational therapist, Cara Brown, focuses on other stories that are part of the same “world” Jonathan has created through his storytelling. In their sessions, Cara began by having Jonathan write out his stories. Once he achieved his handwriting goals he transitioned into typing, which Cara says has improved his eye-hand coordination. “Jonathan just hit a goal of typing 7-8 words per minute,” said Cara. “We use working memory skills to remember specifics of the individual characters and storylines to make a cohesive story that flows nicely together and makes sense. Jonathan has greatly improved in this area as before it was rather disjointed and now he can match and make the story flow very well!”
Jonathan hopes to publish his stories which creatively mix superhero origins, the multiverse, Native American lore, mythology, and science fiction. We are looking forward to featuring Jonathan’s creative stories on our website in the future.
Our team’s approach with Jonathan is not unique. At Achievement Centers for Children, we get to know each individual’s strengths and interests and develop the most effective course of treatment for them. Many times, there are opportunities to collaborate between disciplines to leverage their progress. We are so proud of all Jonathan has achieved, and look forward to seeing him become the storied writer he dreams of being.
"Who would have imagined when we started therapies at ACC that Jonathan as a young boy that he would be writing his own very creative, compelling stories as a young adult? I'm so proud of him!"