By: Jessica F. Gantman, M.S., CCC-SLP
Speech and language therapy is most successful when there is a team approach in place. The team includes parents and caregivers!
Parents and caregivers are some of the most important pieces of a successful therapy experience. Whether your child is 2 or 12 years old, there are many ways to be involved and reinforce what’s happening in the therapy room at home!
Expressive and Receptive Language
If your child is working on expanding expressive language, there are many ways to incorporate practice at home:
- Set up situations in your home where your child needs to request. These are known as “communication temptations.” For example, place the desired toy out of reach so they can request it, keep items closed, or withhold parts of objects to require your child to request.
- Narrate what you’re doing throughout your child’s routines of the day.
- Talk about the different clothing while getting dressed, food at mealtimes, and what’s happening during bathtime. These are all great ways to provide positive language models.
- Reading to your child is always important! Books are a great way to reinforce language and what is being done within the therapy room. Ask your child to describe what they see on the pages or answer simple comprehension questions.
- Complete cooking activities with your child at home to work on sequencing skills and vocabulary. While you’re enjoying your delicious treat, ask your child questions about what steps you completed first, next, and last.
- Have a “book club” at home and have a discussion about the books you and your child read together. This works on reading comprehension and recalling details. You can also target sequencing of events in the story and picture description.
- Scavenger hunts with clues are also a good way to work on word retrieval skills. Give your child clues to guess a target item or find target items and ask your child to provide characteristics about the target.
If your child is working on articulation, there are many ways to incorporate practice at home:
- Play “I Spy” to find items that have the targeted sound in them or have a scavenger hunt containing items with the target sound. .
- Write the target words on paper, stand the paper up, then roll a ball at the papers as if you are bowling. Whichever words are knocked over, practice saying them 3 times.
- Describe pictures in stories or read, depending on your child’s age, while focusing on the target sound.
- Pick a time each day, such as dinner or family game time, where you can focus on making good productions of targeted sounds. Make sure the child knows the expectations ahead of time.
It’s not always easy to have your children participate in speech and language work at home. Since becoming a parent, I 100% understand this. The more you can make something into a game or a “challenge”, the more successful you will be! You will also be reinforcing therapy and creating positive speech and language experiences for your child. Good job!
Contact us for more information about staying involved in your child’s therapy or to set up a consultation or appointment.