Incoporating Speech Therapy Treatment Goals in Your Child's Daily Routineby Ashely Sellers, Speech Language Pathologist, M.Ed., CCC-SLP on 08/31/17
The primary goal of speech therapy is for skills or strategies taught within the clinical setting to generalize to the child’s natural environment (home and school) so that he or she may effectively communicate throughout his/her daily routine with family members and peers. Therefore, I know many parents of children with speech delays or diagnosed communication disorders are often told to work on speech therapy treatment goals at home with their children. Often times, parents can find this request to be so overwhelming. They leave thinking how they can carve out more time in their already busy lives to work on speech therapy goals.
Don’t worry, I have the solution for you! First and foremost, it is important that you are aware of your child’s speech therapy goals. Make sure that you have a current copy of your child’s speech therapy evaluation report or plan of care. You can request a copy from your child’s speech language pathologist. From there the rest is pretty simple. The goal is to provide your child with consistent language stimulation. You do this by providing your child with a running dialogue throughout their daily routine such as during meals, grooming, dressing, car riding, grocery shopping, working in the yard, or simply playing outside, of the objects they are manipulating, the actions they are performing, the people they are interacting with, places they are going, and what they will be doing when they get there.
To make things more vivid, here is an example: During breakfast time, you name all the foods your child has on their plate. As they begin to eat, you point out to them, “You are eating your eggs. The eggs have cheese in them.” “Your orange juice is in your cup. It will taste sweet when your drink it.” This example is based on a child that may have goals that target naming objects and using action words in sentences. The important thing to note is that you are not requiring your child to repeat you or to answer questions correctly, if asked. You are only stimulating their language to provide a model of following a command appropriately or using words meaningfully in sentences to communicate appropriately.
However, there are times when we schedule a specific activity to do with our child to spend time with them or to simply create happy childhood moments. These moments include but aren’t limited to activities such as baking cookies, putting together a train track, or an arts and crafts activity. These types of activities allow for more in-depth and specific ways to work on your child’s speech therapy goals while also doing something they enjoy.
Please check out my video: Speech Therapy Techniques : Play-Doh and Speech Therapy, where you will find a vivid example of what this interaction looks like while my son and I make some play-doh. This video provides captions of the potential goals and skills that can be targeted in an activity like this. If you are interested in trying this at home with your child, please download the Play Doh-Speech Therapy Lesson Plan, which includes flash cards of the nouns, action words, colors, and descriptive words associated with the activity. It also includes command cards for completing the recipe and “wh” question cards with the suggested responses that can also be used during the activity.
Remember, no matter what you decide to do, make it light and enjoyable for your child!