Our Scarborough team of speech pathologists support children and young people with complex physical and multiple disability to improve their communication and help with mealtimes. We work with children and their families to increase independence, confidence and to help kids just be kids, to play, learn and have fun!
One of the ways that our Scarborough team will work with families is to support parents and caregivers to help your child to meet their therapy goals through activities at home in addition to their formal speech therapy sessions.
There are lots of things that you can do at home and we’re here to support you and provide advice every step of the way. Our Scarborough team of speech pathologists can help with activities and strategies tailored to the needs of your child and your family. These might include some of the examples below:
Word and sound practice
If your child has trouble with specific sounds or words try to use these as much as possible in conversations at home. For example if your child finds the “w” sound challenging, play a game searching for things that start with “w” like window, water, watermelon and so on.
Reading with your child helps to reinforce language and supports them to learn new words and their meaning. Your child doesn’t need to be able to read the words (if they can that’s great!) but they can listen and look at the pictures and build on their ability to understand narrative.
Singing songs is a great way to learn new words and meanings and will help your child to expand their vocabulary and develop their listening skills. Songs can be more memorable than spoken words, ever had that one song you can’t get out of your head all day?
Asking your child lots of questions will prompt them to communicate. We don’t want to overwhelm children with too many questions but you can use questions to start conservations around topics that they are interested in and this will encourage them to participate. You could ask them what their favourite superhero would do or what they think about a choice of two shirts to wear.
When focussing on speech therapy activities at home, try to reduce the distractions around you or move your child away from distractions into a quiet space. Some examples of things that your child might find distracting include the TV or background music, siblings playing, a clock ticking or a pet that wants to play.
Schedule time in your day or week that is dedicated to the speech therapy activities that your child’s speech pathologist has recommended. This helps to manage your child’s expectations and they will often look forward to spending “special time” with you one-on-one. A visual calendar can help with this. If possible, it can also help to create a dedicated space like a reading corner, or an activity table so that your child understands that this is where fun stuff happens!
Let them lead
Letting your child lead communication promotes independence as they become more assertive. This applies to both verbal and non-verbal communication. Try not to anticipate what your child wants, needs or is trying to communicate and instead give them time and space to do this themselves. They will start to learn to communicate via whatever means they can – verbal speech, gestures, facial expressions, PODD book, sign, and so on – to express what they want or need.
Find out more
To check availability for appointments with our Scarborough speech therapy team, simply call us on 1800 XAVIER, email email@example.com or fill in our simple speech therapy enquiry form and we’ll be in touch.