Speech and language therapy are very important to a child’s development. But with everyone staying at home because of the Coronavirus, many children are missing important sessions. Unfortunately, this can have a negative impact on all the progress a child has made. Which is why First Words Speech Therapy is providing teletherapy sessions. This individualized alternative to the traditional therapy has proven to be effective.
Consistent Therapy Sessions Is The Key To Success
When sessions are missed, progress slows and in some cases a child can even regress. When progress is lost, it will take precious time to reteach previously taught skills. It can also result in a longer duration of language/speech therapy.
It is important for your child to continue to practice their current skills and build on their success. Parents, family, and caregivers also play a big role in their child’s success and moving towards their goals.
The American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA) has 10 easy tips for parents to support language for all ages:
- Pay attention to body language, when a child is looking toward or reaching for something, they are communicating. Talk about what they are reaching for, “Oh, you want the bubbles!”
- Avoid the “say this” tendency. Don’t pressure the child to speak; keeping the experience positive is important. Instead, model what the child might say when he/she is ready.
- Take time to sit and read with your child every day. Label everything you see, and encourage them to point to the words and pictures as you talk about them. Books with repetitive lines are great.
- Be playful. Sing songs. Use lots of inflection. With familiar songs, leave some of the words out and see if your child will hum or sing the words.
- Provide limited choices when you aren’t sure what your child wants. Holding out 2 items, lessens the stress of having too many choices.
- Talk with your child about what you are doing, then provide the opportunity for your child to reciprocate. “I’m making some cookies, do you want to help?”
- Use first/then language to guide behavior, and then be consistent, “First you need to eat, then you can read.” Use this language even when moving between activities that are preferred or less preferred.
- Use pictures: Take pictures of your child’s day and talk about what is coming up next, or make a photo album of fun activities (vacation, going out for ice cream) to talk about.
- Remember language is everywhere, even if you child doesn’t understand everything you are saying, he or she needs the exposure. Car rides, walks outside, blowing bubbles are just a few examples. Describe what you see, and ask questions, e.g, “I see a cow. What does a cow say?”
- Simplify your props. Sometimes the simplest toys can bring out the best language. Summer is full of such opportunities: A spinning toy, taking a turn kicking a ball, bubbles…all can support your child’s development, simply by talking to them.