Tips For Speech Therapy At Home
Tips For Speech Therapy At Home
What is speech therapy?
After your child is assessed for his speech and langauge skills, the Speech Language Pathologist will explain you the course of treatment which can entail Speech & Language Therapy. A speech therapy session typically lasts for about 30 to 60 minutes. One must work with the child at home for better learning and generalization of the concepts that are introduced in the therapy sessions.
Working or playing with child in a ‘structured’ way may be overwhelming in the beginning as it will be new to both the parent and thechild. You may be confronted with questions like- how to start, what to teach, how long to teach etc. At the same time, your child may not be cooperative as it will be totally new for him too.
Here are a few useful tips to incorporate while engaging your child with therapy activities at home.
Yes! First and foremost is to have patience. Remind yourself each time that, it will take time to settle down for the child as well as you to get a hang of how things may go. It may take few days to weeks. Don’t raise your voice; don’t show frustration on your face. Give your child sufficient time to understand what is happening and what he/ she is supposed to be doing.
Keep away distractions.
Children can be distracted by subtle things there by affecting their performance in the given task. There is a variety of distraction factors as each child is different. Look closely for a few days to make out what could distract your child. Some distractions can be : ticking sound of a clock, sound of a wind chime, moving wall drop, any wall hangings, ray of light peeping through wall drop, traffic noise from outside, other children playing in the same room, people talking, whirring of a fan, television/ music playing in the background etc. Once you know what distracts your child, try to minimize the distractions while you work with him.
- Put off the television when nobody is watching and also when you are teaching the child. You can not expect the child to focus on the given work with such distractions around.
- Do not have your phone around while teaching. If it’s very important to keep with you, keep in silent mode.
- Select the room which has minimum distractors such as no/ least wall hangings, less noise.
- Make sure nobody disturbs by entering the room often.
- Keep the toys, books and everything that is needed for teaching ready before hand.
- Don’t spread the toys around as that also could distract your child. Keep it in cupboard and use one at time.
Prepare your child.
Starting the task all of sudden may cause disturbance to your child, so prepare him/ her well in advance. Tell your child what you are going to do together. Preparing your child well in advance for the task will improve the efficiency and performance of the child.
Have a fixed schedule.
Schedule time for teaching your child and maintain that time frame regularly. When it is a fixed schedule, child will be better prepared for learning.
Make a time table.
Make a time table of the tasks of the day and visually present it to child. Making a Visual Time Table can be extremely useful. Here is a great video that shows how to make and use a Visual Time Table. Put everyday routine on this time table e.g. brushing, breakfast, school, lunch, play, study etc.
Keep things out of reach.
Keep certain things out of reach of your child. So that you are giving a chance to child to come and initiate some sort of interaction with you. Keep his/ her favorite toy out of reach, hide one of the shoes, keep sipper out of reach etc. The things your child wants in everyday life should be focused on.
Make mistakes on purpose.
Yes! Make mistakes on purpose. Put on wrong shoes, keep the plate upside down while eating, put on trousers instead of the shirt etc. Go silly and make mistakes. These will allow your child a chance to react, initiate communication, make eye to eye contact or show another postivie response. Later correct your mistake and explain what you are doing!
Follow your child’s lead.
Initially don’t expect your child to cooperate or pay attention to everything you do. Instead, you go down to his/ her level and follow his lead, become friendly with your child, make him feel confident. Gradually your child will start paying more attention or provide a better joint attention with you. From there gradually start scheduling the tasks you want to teach to your child.
Use short constant utterances.
Always use short clear and constant utterances. It helps your child remember and associate better.
Do not anticipate!
Do not anticipate what your child wants, what he/ she may dislike or like. Give opportunity to your child to ask what he/ she wants/ needs, let her/ him express likes or dislikes. Do not anticipate anything, instead give him/ her a chance.
Always give two choices to your child. Hold up two objects and ask your child what does he or she wants. Give the object as soon as he/ she holds out a hand or looks at it, along with saying its name.
Praise each effort.
Praising your children has a huge impact on their success. Once your child gets to know that he/she is being praised or learns the expected behavior, he/she will become confident. The sense of achievement and accomplishment will boost his/her self esteem. Your child may not reach the target, but you know he/she has put effort – make sure you praise him/her, make sure he/she feels happy about it.
Hope you will try these tips while working with your child at home. Remember to go slow up the ladder and spend quality time with your little one.
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