TOP 5 BEST WAYS TO KEEP SPEECH-LANGUAGE PROGRESS IN BETWEEN SESSIONS:
Speech Therapy sessions are usually 30 minutes once or a couple of times a week. However, that progress can be kept in between sessions. There is always more you can do at home to help maintain and improve your speech. With that in mind, outside of school-based services and private sessions let's talk about what we can do. The weekends and time in between school and therapy mean time off to relax and enjoy quality time with friends and family. However, that does not have to mean a pause in SLP therapy! Below are 5 things you can do with your child to maintain their progress in speech therapy in between each session!
1. READ READ READ!:
Reading improves both expressive and receptive language skills. Adding reading into a child’s daily routine is a must! This can mean reading a short book before bed or during the day. If your child does not read yet, as a parent you can read to them. While you are reading to your child point and name pictures throughout the book. This helps build your child's vocabulary as well. An easy and engaging way to get your child to read is to make a reading list! Set a goal and pick out books and how much time your child will dedicate to reading daily.
2. STAY SOCIAL:
Staying social and interacting with other people is the best way to practice social pragmatic skills. Social pragmatic skills are things like a simple greeting: Hello! How are you? This can help a child learn conversational skills like turn-taking. The weekend could limit a child's social interactions since they are not going to school or therapy. It is very important to try to create as many social opportunities as possible for your child. Camps are a great way to engage your child. If camps are not an option, weekly outings with your child can provide the social opportunities they need.
Play is a great way to build speech-language skills. Different children will need different levels of help depending on their development. Cause and effect toys are great for younger children. For example, your child uses the toy, and then the toy has a response like playing a sound or music. Those. Manipulative toys are toys like a puzzle and legos or other building types of toys. A child with fine motor challenges would benefit from using a puzzle with knob handle pieces. There are also representation toys that represent real-life things like a play car or animal. Representational toys are a great way to build vocabulary and practice speech while having fun! Playtime can even mean screen time. A child can practice speech-language skills on apps. Some of our favorite apps for this purpose are articulation station, Splingo, and Speech Tutor. This way your child can get some practice while playing a fun game on a device like an IPad or IPhone!
4. PRACTICE SPEECH WORDS:
Speech sound errors that a child is working on in therapy may need a little more than 30 minutes a week at their sessions. Practice practice practice! Consistency and accuracy are key here! You can ask your SLP for a weekly practice list to do between sessions!! Set aside 5 minutes a day to practice. Or you can do a listening list for your child where you tell your child the words while they do a quiet activity. An example of a quiet activity would be coloring! The child does not need to repeat the sound, their only job is to listen to you speak 1 word a second. This helps the child hear and visually see how a word or sound is pronounced. However, it is best to practice both ways to have the child hear and see it and then try it on their own. This should be done 1-2 times a day. A good way to integrate practice into a day is once at breakfast once at dinner!
5. NARRATE AND ASK THE CHILD QUESTIONS:
Try to narrate and ask questions to your child daily. Talk about what you are doing while you go through your routine with your child. Explain your day and ask your child about their day. Try to make this as open-ended as possible to avoid yes or no questions. This strengthens and builds your child's vocabulary and conversation skills. This can overall help the child's language development. This is the easiest way to engage your child and have them practice speech as much as possible on a daily basis.
Time off is a chance to kick back and relax however it does not mean speech-language progress stops here! I hope these 5 ideas will help you create some fun and easy ways to keep your child up to speed with their speech-language skills. Speech Matters can offer sessions virtual or in-person if you need some extra help! Why rely only on school-based therapy when Speech Matters accepts almost all insurances and is here to make it easy! Contact us today at (212) 861- 7800 or email us at email@example.com. Your speech matters and there are people here to help!