Given the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, many Americans are still stuck at home. If your child requires speech therapy, this can pose quite a problem. The services of a professional speech-language pathologist may not be available or safe. Even with the transition to online learning, many children have fewer social interactions and ergo opportunities to practice speech than ever before. Thankfully, there are numerous speech therapy exercises you can try with your child at home. Below are three of our favorite options.
It may be obvious to some, but one of the most helpful speech therapy exercises you can perform with your child at home is simply to talk to them. You may not be an expert speech therapist, but you can do much to improve your child’s speech just by conversing with them. Just because it is a one-way conversation does not mean it is not of benefit to them. Consider narrating your everyday activities with them, such as grocery shopping or household chores. Many children’s books emphasize the playful, sensory qualities of language, so reading to them aloud could be a great help as well.
Keeping your child’s speech abilities in mind, you should encourage them to speak back to you, if possible. We have already advocated flashcards as a helpful tool to this end, even if your child cannot yet read. These can be used to practice either words they struggle with, or perhaps excerpts from a children’s book for them to repeat back to you.
You might not think too much about the physical aspect of everyday speech. But, for many children in need of speech therapy, utilizing facial muscles can be a big help. Blowing bubbles is a typical childhood activity enjoyed by many, and also helps to develop essential lip and cheek muscles. You can even make funny faces and / or noises with your child, perhaps in front of a mirror. We also recommend using straws to drink.
Increasingly, speech-language pathologists are using apps to aid in speech therapy. The great thing about these is that they can be used at home. Many of them can be trialed for free. These apps help to engage children while they are learning visually, and make speech therapy feel like play. There are numerous different apps available, and some of them may cater specifically to your child’s needs. Your child’s therapist should be able to make a specific recommendation.
The Connections Therapy Center
The Connections Therapy Center serves families of children and adolescents with disabilities and special needs. We are a team of experts in the fields of pediatric speech, occupational therapy, speech-language pathology, and behavioral sciences. As a team, we offer intensive hands-on therapy for children and adolescents, as well as informative and useful resources for families. If you are interested in learning more about what we can do to help your family, visit us online or give us a call at (301) 577-4333. Want to get more information on how to help your child thrive? Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Pinterest.