Some parents have asked how to give speech therapy at home. There are plenty of ways to help your child develop their speech and language skills at home! The following are suggestions for toddlers and early years. If you are worried about your child's speech and language skills it's best to consult a qualified speech and language therapist.
Practice waiting for your child to communicate rather than fulilling every one of their needs in advance. An example of communication is pointing, saying a words, or even a sound like "ga" for babblers. Try to figure out what they want then model the word for them.
Don't tell your child to "Say ____." Unfortunately, the child learns to parrot the whole phrase or doesn't actually learn the word because they have no meaning to map to it. Instead, model the word to your child (e.g. "Look, a dog!") then use step 1 above (wait) to see if they imitate you.
Reduce the questions and demands. Although it's tempting to want to have your child answer questions on command such as, "What's this called? What colour? Do you know your ABCs, show me.", this can be stressful for the child and also not teach them anything. Respect your child's amazing ability to learn new words just by hearing them (not by being tested on them.)
These tips won't apply to all children and they certainly won't solve a speech delay by themselves. If in doubt, speak to a qualified speech therapists who may be able to assist in personalised recommendations for your child.
The other way to do speech therapy at home is to consult with a speech pathologist for an online consultation - you don't even have to leave your living room! Call today to talk to a therapist to see if this might be a good option for your busy family.
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