There are many reasons to do speech therapy at home with your child. You may have homework to do or insurance may have denied coverage as they did for us when Logan was younger. How do you come up with at home speech therapy practice for kids who are tired of speech? In today’s guest post, Lara from Everyday Graces shares her program with us.
After a time in therapy of any sort, you are likely to have a child who is just tired of doing their at home practice and you will need to get creative. With two boys that have Apraxia, I have learned that sneaking speech practice into our day is much easier than having a dedicated practice session. This video shows some of the ways we practice speech without “practicing speech”.
Everyday Language Therapy
One way to incorporate speech therapy practice is to train yourself, as the parent, to listen in normal conversation for the sounds your child needs to work on. When my oldest son was 2 and a half, he was very resistant to therapy so we worked on getting his sounds when he wanted something. It was still frustrating, but not nearly as much as when we tried to sit down and practice.
Now that both boys are older, when there is a word with a sound missing or incorrectly said, we get them to say it correctly and repeat it three times in a row, then continue on with our conversation. They don’t even notice it anymore when we do this.
We still utilize hand motions and some ASL to help trigger certain words, phrases, or sounds. Teddy struggles with the word “yellow”, which is also his favorite color. Ever since he was 4 he has absently signed the color yellow’s sign when he says the word. Having that hand motion seems to help his mouth remember how to pronounce the word. Because Apraxia effects motor-planning, using a multi-sensory approach to speaking is very beneficial to these children.
Utilize Your Child’s Passions
My oldest son loves to cook, so much so that he has decided to have his own cooking show. We work together to go over his ingredient list and his instructions to help facilitate speech practice. He knows that he wants people to understand him. His Apraxia is considered resolved but he still has many, and some severe, articulation errors. Working with him on his cooking show helps us connect through something he loves and allows us to work on his speech. If you’re curious about the gluten free/paleo pancake recipe he mentions in the video, you can see that here.
My younger son loves to spout off silly rhymes, facts, and sing. We work on his articulation through these outlets.
Using Memorization and Recitation for Speech Therapy
Memorization and recitation are important parts of our Charlotte Mason inspired homeschool. They help with vocabulary, instilling important truths, language fluency, and exposure to quality literature. I do not specifically choose our pieces for speech practice, but I do incorporate speech practice into our memorization and recitation time.
We utilize Scripture, Shakespeare, poetry, and memorable quotations from classic literature and from memorable people. Whenever possible, we create hand motions to go with our memory work to help the boys cement the words into their mind. The action helps keep them focused as well.
These everyday methods of including speech therapy into our daily happenings have helped us progress in speech and have a lot less contention doing so.
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