by Robyn A. Merkel-Piccini M.A., CCC-SLP
Children come to speech and language services for many different reasons. Good speech therapy attendance, positive reinforcement, and home practice are the common denominators for success in therapy. Parental support and supervision of speech therapy homework is essential for reaching the child's goals and objectives.
Here are some helpful hints to work with your child at home:
- Use a mirror to help your child with articulation homework. Your child learns where to position the tongue, lips, and teeth in therapy. The child uses a mirror to watch the mouth until he/she can make the sound correctly in words.
- Use your own speech as a model. Children learn speech and language through imitation. Being aware of your own speech production, including grammar, helps your child improve his or her own skill.
- Provide an "auditory-enriched environment." Surrounding your child with various sound stimulation opens up the ears for learning. Try books on CD/tape, various types of music, and environmental sound tapes or CDs.
- Have fun conversations! Use the dinner table like a speech clinic. Discuss everything from daily events to what's in each room of the house. Conversational skills, such as continuation of the topic and turn-taking are essential parts of speech and language.
- Enrich vocabulary with language-based games such as: "Scrabble," "Wheel of Fortune," "Scattegories" and "Outburst" . These games all help vocabulary skills. Crossword puzzles and word search games are excellent forms of written vocabulary games.
- Know your child's learning strengths and weaknesses. There are many forms of intelligence including: linguistic, kinesthetic (body), musical, artistic, logical, and social. Use your child's strong areas to help speech and language. For example: if your child is gifted musically, let him sing a song to practice his speech sounds!
- Let your child know how important speech is to you. If your child thinks that speech comes afterall other things, he/she will not do the best he/she can.
A positive attitude really makes the difference!