Speech Therapy Parents Can Use at Home to Support Their Children
Professional speech therapy is the best method of care a parent can provide their child to help overcome speech disorders. What many parents don’t know is that there are many ways that they can help their children work towards developing their speech outside of the doctor’s office. Even some of the simplest techniques and practices can help your child progress with their speech. Here are eight tips that you can practice with your child in the comfort of your own home.
Be an Avid Listener
Every parent should be giving their child their full attention, but it is especially important for parents of children with speech impediments. By being avid listeners, parents should be attentive and patient when their child is trying to respond. Interrupting a child and telling them to “spit it out” can create feelings of anxiety and insecurity, making their condition harder to work with. You want to keep conversations as natural and as comfortable as possible.
Focus on What Your Child Can Achieve
Instead of worrying about what your child has yet to achieve, it is more supportive and helpful to focus on what your child has achieved. Of course, you should pay attention to any kind of difficulties your child is experiencing, so you can work on them, but you should also note any small achievements, even if it is not completely related to their speech impediment. Any kind of development is progress to be happy about!
Keep Background Noise to a Minimum
For some children, it can be difficult to collect their thoughts and speech when there is noise distracting them. To better support your child, it is best to keep noise such as TV and music low that way they can be able to make out what they want to say. Studies have shown that TV can lead to a delay in language development. Children speak best and are most confident when they are actually being spoken to.
Make a Regular Habit of Reading
Reading a little bit every day can go a long way. You can read a book that your child likes and have them read some lines back. This helps your child strengthen speech skills and also encourages them to speak more. When your child is reading to you, you can ask them to explain what is going on because remembering the context of a story can also be beneficial to a child’s speech development.
Have Your Child Drink Out of Straws
Drinking liquids through a straw or even regularly blowing air out of them can help your child strengthen their speech. This is because, in order to blow a straw, we use muscles in the mouth that are important for speaking clearly. You could even make it a game to help your child practice this on a regular basis.
Use Visual Imagery to Strengthen Speech Skills
Flashcards that have pictures and words on them are a great tool to strengthen your child’s speech and development. You can hold the card in front of your child, have them say the word of the image, or by reading the word on the card and have them repeat. By providing an image with a corresponding word, your child has an easier time creating a connection and memorizing the pronunciation of words. Visual imagery can go a long way in significantly reducing speech delay.
Help Them in Social Activities
It is best to have your child interact in larger social circles. While it is good practice for children to practice having one-on-one conversations, it is also beneficial for them to have as much social practice as possible. Many speeches or language disorders generally require plenty of interaction to improve speech and social skills, so you never want to isolate your child unless it is absolutely necessary.
Give Plenty of Praise
Most importantly, your child can progress and work towards development when they are encouraged. When your child achieves small victories or goals, take the time to give them praise by saying “I’m proud of you” or “Good job, I knew you could do it!”. A child needs to be in a positive environment and receive reassurance when treating a disorder. There is simply nothing more motivational than to receive the positive reinforcement children need from their parents.
Get Professional, Specialized Care for Your Little One at Pasitos Clinic
To learn more about what you can do to help your child, you can speak with a professional speech therapist. Don’t hesitate to contact us at Pasitos Clinic. Our staff is more than happy to help!