By Leslie Lindsay
Speech-language therapy doesn’t stop at the speech clinic. Here are some ways you can enhance & support what your child is working on at home.
~APRAXIA MONDAY|ALWAYS WITH A BOOK~
Spotlight: BETTER SPEECH.COM
EXTENDING SPEECH WORK IN EVERYDAY PLAY & GAMES
I’m so delighted to welcome this guest piece from the folks at Better Speech, an online portal for speech-language teletherapy, recognized by American Speech-Hearing Association (ASHA). As most you know, I am a big proponent of making speech fun while working it into everyday routines. There is so much that can be expressed and taught in your own home, out-and-about town, and even in nature. That said, we’re all spending much more time at home–not just because of the pandemic, but because it’s winter and the middle of the school year. Here are some great tips and ideas of things you can do right at home, probably with items you already have.
5 Ways to Support Your Child’s Speech Therapy at Home
When your child is working with a licensed speech therapist, speech therapy at home can be just as beneficial as speech therapy in a clinical setting. In fact, some children respond better to their speech training at home because they are more comfortable practicing in a familiar environment, and more receptive to a parent practicing along with them.
Engaging Your Child
As a parent, implementing the in-home training your child’s speech therapist has recommended will be your responsibility. However, some parents like to add additional practice exercises that they can work on with their children, some being more effective than others. The key to productive speech therapy exercises at home is simple: make sure the exercises cover the recommendations provided by your child’s speech therapist, and make sure these exercises are fun and engaging.
The more engaged a child is with their in-home speech therapy training, the more effective the training will be. This means coming up with exercises that seem less like practice and more like a game.
5 Effective In-Home Speech Therapy Exercises
Reading is the ultimate tool for speech therapy, and one of the most important exercises for the development of language as a whole. If your child is proficient at reading, have them take turns with you reading a page at a time. Be patient and listen attentively during the times when your child needs extra time to try and retry challenging areas of speech.
Throughout the course of a book, your child is bound to get plenty of practice with their specific speech skill. It also helps the child to listen to your portion of the reading, so they can hear the correct pronunciation of troublesome words and sounds.
Scrabble is not only a great game to play to practice difficult whole words, but it also puts an emphasis on individual letter sounds. If your child has trouble pronouncing words with the letter F, your child’s speech therapist will most likely focus on letter F repetitions, then syllables with the letter F, then whole letter words. Together, these buildings blocks build a clear pronunciation, and Scrabble provides practice for both letter and word repetitions!
If your little one isn’t really for Scrabble, “I-Spy” is a good option. Any speech related-game that compliments your child’s everyday routine is welcome, and none are easier to fit into a schedule than “I-Spy”. You can play this game anytime, anywhere. This game is especially effective for children who have trouble forming “S” or “L” sounds, as they have to repeat “I spy with my little eye” constantly.
What’s better than doing speech training? Doing speech training while maintaining you and your child’s health! To play this game, have your child hold a yoga pose and see how many speech skill repetitions they can perform before they break the yoga pose. This is an especially well-received strategy for kids who are always moving around.
[Be sure to check out last week’s ApraxiaMonday featuring TalkYoga]
The Card Game
If your child likes playing card games, there is a way to incorporate their speech therapy training into any game of your choosing. Before you play, have your child perform speech skill repetitions. For each correct repetition, the child receives a card. Once the child has received the whole deck of cards, the card game can begin.
Progress is Progress
When it comes to speech therapy for kids, it is important to remember that your child’s progress is the goal. As long as they are having fun and making progress towards their speech skills, any game you choose or make up in the home is better than none (as long as it follows the guidelines provided by your speech therapist).
This guide has some great suggestions, but you know your child better than anyone. Feel free to make up your own game that develops their speech skills, while also enjoying some quality time with your child!
For more information about Better Speech, please visit:
For apraxia-specific information, please visit HERE.
Better Speech.com is committed to providing affordable and effective online speech therapy for kids and adults. Our clients are matched with the best therapist for their needs and get therapy at the comfort of their home, when it’s convenient for them.
“My daughter’s language skills improved so much in past year. She can speak to us in complete sentences. And working online made sessions so easy for our family.”
Melissa K., Mom to 5 year old late talker
You might also like this piece about using snack time as a way to work on speech-language skills with toddlers.
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ABOUT THE SLP:
Better Speech is a convenient and affordable online speech therapy for children and adults, passionate about helping all people communicate at their best. SIGN UP and get matched immediately with a licensed speech therapist. Start improving communication skills from the comfort of your home. Better Speech – for a better future. Better Speech SLPs are trained in PROMPT: An evidence based practice for speech sound disorders such as Childhood Apraxia of Speech. S.O.S. (Sequential Oral Sensory) Approach to Feeding: To address problematic feeding behaviors & picky eaters. Reading with TLC Lively Letters Program: The Lively Letters program is a powerful evidence based multi-sensory intervention program for kids with various learning challenges, dyslexia, speech and language disorders, and other reading difficulties. LSVT LOUD ®: An effective speech treatment for people with Parkinson’s Disease and other neurological disorders. Beckman Oral Motor Approach: Interventions to increase functional response to pressure and movement, range, strength, variety and control of movement for the lips, cheeks, jaw and tongue. SCERTS: Focuses on building competence in Social Communication, Emotional Regulation and Transactional to address the core challenges faced by children and persons with Autism Spectrum Disorder. Social Thinking: A social skills curriculum intended for students with social learning disabilities, especially those with Autism Spectrum Disorder. DIR Floortime: Relationship-based therapy for children with autism. The goal in this model of intervention is to play and interact with the child at their developmental level and build on their strengths.
ABOUT YOUR HOST:
Leslie Lindsay is the creator and host of the award-winning author interview series,“Always with a Book.” Since 2013, Leslie, named “one of the most influential book reviewers” by Jane Friedman, ranks in the top 1% of all GoodReads reviewers and has conducted over 700 warm, inquisitive conversations with authors as wide-ranging as Robert Kolker and Mary Kubica to Helen Phillips and Mary Beth Keane, making her website a go-to for book lovers world-wide. Her writing & photography have appeared in various print journals and online. She is the award-winning author of SPEAKING OF APRAXIA: A Parents’ Guide to Childhood Apraxia of Speech. A former psychiatric R.N. at the Mayo Clinic, Leslie’s memoir, MODEL HOME: Motherhood, Madness, & Memory, is currently on submission with Catalyst Literary Management. Leslie resides in the Chicago area with her family.
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[Other images, unless noted, retrieved from the betterspeech.com website on 2.22.21]