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Elf on the Shelf and the Mobile Speech Pathologist

I know what you’re thinking…how does a mobile speech pathologist use an “Elf on the Shelf?” I thought that for several years. Over the years, I have also learned that everyone has their own “rules” for that darn little elf! I go into children’s homes, daycares and schools. I work with kids who don’t believe in Santa and those who do. Here’s how I put my spin the famous “Elf on the Shelf” as a mobile speech therapist!

I started introducing my elf, “Piper,” the week of Thanksgiving through social media. I have parents that follow Speech Chick Therapy either on Facebook or Instagram. I introduced her as a special helper that would be assisting me during this busy time of year. Once I went back to therapy after Turkey Day, I showed all the kids her picture and introduced her. Again, I let them know that she wasn’t here to watch my kids. She was here to work in my office while I was at their house or school. I’m not allowed to touch her (just like their elf at home) because she would lose her magic and not be able to work.

Even kids that do not have elves at home, ask each session “What was your elf doing this morning?” (Hello, “wh” question, grammar AND initiated social interaction!!) At each session, I show a picture of Piper up to something crazy. As we talk about Piper is doing, I get the change to work on verbs, pronoun “she,” grammar, spatial concepts and yes, even some inferencing! If the child has an elf at home, I return the question and they excitedly tell me what crazy shenanigan their elf was up to.

Sometimes, I get really lucky and the child will ask “what did she do yesterday?” This is because I typically do not see kids back to back days. We end up spending at least the first 5 minutes connecting over this elf. Mind you, I am two weeks into this story and she hasn’t even made an actual appearance in any session. Piper has had several requests to appear in our therapy sessions. I am making plans to bring her during our last week of sessions before Christmas. She may even get to play a game with us!

This is my first experience with the “Elf on the Shelf.” I didn’t have an elf for kids. I just wasn’t that mom. But can I be the SLP that batches 6-7 pictures on a Sunday afternoon to share throughout the week? You betcha!

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