Hurricane Irma had a powerful impact.
Thankfully South Florida was not hit with a Category Five storm as expected.
And we are grateful. Not just for the unexpected detour but also for the valuable lessons learned about caring, comfort and TeleSpeech.
Let’s start with caring.
Caring and compassion were rampant before, during and after the hurricane. People shared their sources of water and which gas stations had gas on Facebook and in What’s App groups. Lines were long at supermarkets but people were kind and willing to help each other out. Once the power went out, neighbors opened their homes to family and friends. Defrosted foods were shared on the block. After the hurricane, strangers stopped as they were driving and picked up fallen branches from the streets.
As for comfort, I never realized the power (no pun intended) of electricity. Turning on a light, having an air conditioned home, taking a hot shower and opening the refrigerator at whim are comforts we take for granted. It’s a shame that losing power for a short period of time was responsible for putting our lives in perspective.
We are so lucky, in more ways than we realize. Our homes are basically intact. We lost electricity, internet, phone and tree limbs but our power is back and trees are replaceable. Family and friends are safe and our routine is returning back to normal.
Normalcy and routine is the segue to the hidden advantages of Gr8 Speech I often forget to share.
When I started Gr8 Speech, I was well aware of the many benefits. As both a therapist and a mom, I have experienced the inconvenience of traffic jams, weather-related delays and therapy session cancellations as well as the disruption of services caused when you relocate or your therapist changes jobs or moves away.
But Hurricane Irma gave me additional insight and it came from the parents.
The time period before the hurricane, during and the aftermath are times of uncertainty. Adults cope by busying themselves with the tasks at hand. But for kids, the disruption in the routine can be anxiety-provoking and keeping life as normal as possible is the best solsution.
Gr8 Speech therapists kept to their schedules.
Whether Florida families fled to Orlando, Atlanta or NYC to escape the storm, our clients were still able to receive services. And parents, who were away from their jobs, were able to participate, a lucky bonus not usually available.
Kudos to the speech therapists who incorporated hurricane-related themes into the sessions. Whether it was weather-related vocabulary or reading comprehension tasks the lessons were relevant and interactive.
And relevancy and interaction are key components of any speech therapy programs.
Any positive Irma stories out there to share?