Your cart
Close Alternative Icon

Benefits of Cap Guard and Kids Cap Guard in the Speech Pathologist Setting

Arrow Thin Left Icon Arrow Thin Right Icon

Benefits of Cap Guard and Kids Cap Guard in the Speech Pathologist Setting

Cap Guard is a School Solutions partner with AASA, The School Superintendents Association, providing COVID-19 protective resources for students and teachers.

                                            

Cap Guard supports the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA) and is a proud sponsor of ASHA’s national conference, “Practical Solutions for Elementary Assessment, Treatment, and Collaboration,” for school-based Speech Language Pathologists.

                               

 

Cap Guard goes to the Speech Language Pathologist (SLP)

Educators, administrators, and speech language pathologists across the country are struggling with the changes associated with returning to school. Social distancing, hand washing, and acrylic barriers are not the only agenda. Speech language pathologists question how they will be able to effectively assess and treat returning students in an environment where wearing of masks and social distancing of six feet are required. Speech and language problems are formidable problems for students making it difficult for a child to learn in school. Speech language pathologists (SLP’s) help a child succeed.

The American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA) identifies the following communication problems in school which are treated by speech language pathologists:

  • Speech Sounds. Trouble saying sounds, not speaking clearly, being hard to understand.
  • Language and literacy. Trouble with understanding what one hears, may not follow directions or answer questions well, hard to communicate thoughts saying only short sentences and not using correct words.
  • Social communication. Trouble talking with other children, difficulty making friends, difficulty understanding what others think or feel.
  • Cognitive communication. These are the thinking skills a child needs to remember, solve problems, and use imagination. Learning disabilities can be a factor.
  • Feeding and swallowing. May not sound like a school-based problem, but it can make it hard for a child to eat and drink enough during the day. That can affect learning. It can make important social times, like lunch or snack, harder for a child.
  • Stuttering. Trouble speaking smoothly, repeating sounds or words or long pause when talking. Makes it hard to answer questions or give speeches in class. It can also make it hard to talk to friends.
  • Voice. Child may sound hoarse or lose voice, child may sound like they talk through their nose, voice too loud or soft. All make it hard to talk in class or with friends.

ASHA makes the following statement regarding school age children in its format Speech and Language Services in Schools, “You need language skills to communicate. And you need to communicate to learn. Reading, writing, gesturing, listening, and speaking are all forms of language. The better your communication skills, the better you will do in school.”

 

Cap Guard facilitates student assessment

The US Bureau of Labor Statistics define the duties and responsibilities of speech language pathologists, “The role of speech therapists in schools is to assess the individual needs of students and design programs to best aid students with language and speech problems.” Assessment can involve an Oral Motor Exam (OME.) This is done to assess the anatomical structure of the mouth such as teeth, tongue, palate, tonsils, velum, and uvula. An SLP will also have the child perform oral motor tasks like smile, pout lips, stick tongue out and move it in different positions and puff out their cheeks. These exercises evaluate specific function and oral motor coordination. The SLP might also utilize the Diadochokinetic Rate (DDK) by having the child repeat “puh”, “tuh”, “kuh” rapidly to assess oral motor coordination. These assessment tools require a clear view of the child’s face and external and internal views of the child’s mouth which can be inhibited by wearing of a mask.

Stacy Fonner, M.S. CCC-SLP, a professional with more than 15 years of school-based Speech Language Pathologist experience in southern New Jersey described the following after attempting to conduct assessments wearing a mask along with her students, “Thus far I have evaluated 5 students (3 boys and 2 girls). The Speech and Language evaluations lasted anywhere from 40 minutes to 2 hours. Each one of the 3 boys took off their masks during the evaluation. The girls kept their masks on however one of the girls wore a mask that was too big, and her nose often showed. The school hung a square sheet of plexi-glass from the ceiling. It was in the way of trying to turn pages in the testing book.  A couple of the boys like to push the plexi-glass since it swings from the ceiling. For the first evaluation, I had a terrible time reading the testing materials because my glasses fogged up. For the articulation evaluation it was frustrating because I could not see the mouth of the student. I had no visual cues to determine placement of the student's articulators (tongue, lips).  Voiceless sounds (/s/, /sh/ /t/, /p/, /k/ and /f/ were much harder to hear especially since the building air conditioner was making noise.  I was also concerned that the students were having a difficult time hearing me give the directions. It was frustrating.” 

Many educators and SLP’s have expressed concerns children will not be able to wear face masks for a full day nor will face masks permit students, SLP’s and teachers to see each other’s faces. Cap Guard and Kid’s Cap Guard offer a solution that provides the best of both worlds, a 100% recyclable and easily sanitized face shield that clips to any baseball cap or visor. The Cap Guard shield provides a barrier that protects both parties engaged in communication while permitting full visibility of face expressions and lip movement. The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia recently conducted a policy review to support local jurisdictions and school administrators in their planning. Face shields were recommended as an option for reopening Pennsylvania Schools, “Face shields do provide a partial barrier to respiratory droplets and may be considered in classroom environments or situations where masking may interfere with teacher instruction OR when distancing (less than 6 feet) cannot be adequately achieved.”   

 

Cap Guard facilitates better SLP treatment plans

Once the SLP has determined the type of communication disorder, a therapeutic treatment plan is put into place that can be accomplished in the classroom, in a small group, or on a one-to-one basis. An article in Healthline described several speech therapy activities, “During speech therapy for children, the SLP may: interact through talking and playing, and using books, pictures, other objects as part of language intervention to help stimulate language development; model correct sounds and syllables for a child during age-appropriate play to teach the child how to make certain sounds.” Thus, it is absolutely critical that SLP and student are able to see each other’s full facial expressions clearly.

Stacy Fonner MS, CCC-SLP offered the following regarding the importance of being able to see a student’s face and mouth clearly during treatment, “Some letters make very similar sounds. Masks decrease hearing acuity.  I need to see a student's mouth to determine if they have correct tongue or lip placement. The placement of the mouth, lips or tongue gives me visual cues as to how the student is producing the sound. It is important to note if a student who is having difficulty producing sounds correctly is groping (moving their mouth repeatedly trying to produce the correct sound). It is important to note if a student who stutters is opening their mouth with no sounds coming out. Facial expressions are an important part of communication. It is our emotions that give meaning to our words. Those emotions are conveyed through facial expression, voice, and body posture. We are missing a vital component of communication when our faces are hidden. Have you ever misunderstood a text because you were missing the emotion it was sent with?”  

A recent article in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) entitled Moving Personal Protective Equipment Into the Community supports the need for face shields for clearer understanding of spoken communication. “The use of a face shield is also a reminder to maintain social distancing, but allows visibility of facial expressions and lip movements for speech perception.”

 

Cap Guard face shield protects

There are ample supportive sources for the efficacy of face shields as part of an overall strategy to reduce transmission of COVID-19 in the community setting. A recent article in Parents Magazine offered, “Usually made from plastic, face shields create a barrier over a person’s entire face… Shields don’t directly touch the face … This design might feel more comfortable for kids … COVID-19 transmits mainly through respiratory droplets that might enter through the mucous membranes of the eyes. Unlike face masks, shields create a protective barrier over the eyes; The see-through exterior makes communication easier for the deaf population, as well as kids with special needs and learning disorders; Wearers don’t need to adjust shields as often as face masks. Less contact with the face means fewer chances of COVID-19 transmission; Face shields can be washed and re-worn.”  William Shaffner, an infectious disease specialist and Professor at Vanderbilt University School of Medicine states, “A face shield provides a barrier for anything going out, but also for things going in.” Eli N. Perencevich, M.D., M.S., Professor of Internal Medicine and Epidemiology at the University of Iowa Carver College of Medicine recently wrote on the efficacy of face shields, “They are comfortable to wear, protect the portals of viral entry, and reduce the potential for autoinoculation by preventing the wearer from touching their face.” In a recent interview, Perencevich went on to say “… face shields are both source control and protecting yourself from the droplets landing anywhere on your face." 

 

Conclusion

The school-based SLP treats a wide range of speech and language delays and disorders in children. With early intervention, speech therapy can improve communication and increase self-confidence. The ability for an SLP and a student to see each other’s facial expressions and mouth movements are essential. Stacy Fonner MS CCC-SLP reinforces this premise, “I am communicating with my students and giving them directions or modeling the way to say something. Students who are receiving Speech Language therapy already have some kind of difficulty communicating. They can not afford to miss hearing the message because it is muffled, or miss a facial cue, or miss a visual cue of where to put their tongue or hold their mouth to correctly produce a sound.”

Cap Guard face shields facilitate the effectiveness of school-based SLP student assessments and treatment plans while providing a personal barrier to help reduce the risk of transmission of COVID in the community setting.

Cap Guard is an innovative patent pending product manufactured in the United States that is 100% recyclable, can be washed daily with antibacterial soap, and mounts with live hinge clips to caps or visors that can convey school imagery. Wall mounts are available for ease of storage and distribution.

Cap Guard is a School Solutions partner with AASA, The School Superintendents Association, providing COVID-19 protective resources for students and teachers.

Cap Guard supports the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA) and is a proud sponsor of ASHA’s national conference, “Practical Solutions for Elementary Assessment, Treatment, and Collaboration,” for school-based Speech Language Pathologists.

 

For further information visit www.capguard.us

x