How to build speech and language practice into your child?

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How to build speech and language practice into your child’s daily routine

Often we observe in clinical practice, that care-givers, with their hectic schedules and multiple responsibilities are unable to adhere to strict routines in order to help their children practice the speech and language skills taught to them during sessions.

One easy solution for this problem is to incorporate speech and language practice into your day-to-day routines. There are several methods that you can try that help further sharpen your child’s speech and language skills which do not call for drastic changes to your usual routines.

Furthermore, day to day speech and language skills practices during daily routines also has the added benefit of helping your child generalize the skills. While working on speech and language skills in an isolated setting (such as at a speech and language pathologist’s office or in a classroom), the child first learns to do the skill there and gradually starts to use it in his daily life such as in the playground or at a restaurant. However, once the child gets used to using those skills at home, he will find it much easier to accommodate.

Largely classified, we may divide the child’s time of the day into four parts-

  1. morning routines (includes meals)
  2. play time
  3. bedtime routine

MORNING ROUTINES-

Waking Up

One of the best ways we can help the child is by starting his day off on a positive note. Waking up should be gentle and calm, always consisting of a clearly verbalized mutual greeting of “GOOD MORNING”. Repeat it patiently till child says it themselves.

Going to the Bathroom, Brushing Teeth

(This step involves Sequencing/Following Directions)

You can reinforce the process of sequencing and following directions while the child does toileting and teeth brushing routines. For younger ones, provide one or two verbal directions at a time, like “pull down your pants” or “put on toothpaste, then put in mouth”. You can pair each instruction with subsequent gestures. Or, you can create pictorial depictions of all of the steps. Paste the directions at the spot where the task is to be complete (such as the wall next to the wash basin). For older kids, these directions can be in without form without pictures.

Getting Dressed

For children that are working on naming and requesting cloth items (either self or assisted dressing), have them verbally name the various items of clothing they want, one after other. You could have them specify colours or styles of clothing as well.

Talk about the Weather or the day ahead:

Talk about what the weather forecast for the day. You can ask them to describe “A SUNNY DAY” or “A RAINY DAY”. We could also ask them to name what clothes/ would be appropriate for that type of weather?

Eating Breakfast:

(involves Requesting)

If the child is working on requesting, have him request different parts of the breakfast, such as spoon, milk, bowl, fork, etc.

Pretend to disturb the morning routine. such as by “forgetting” to give him a spoon, or giving him a fork instead to eat cereals.

Label Vocabulary, Describe, and Tell Function:

Discuss what the foods your child is eating are named and the ingredients. You can ask them how the foods taste, smell, feel, etc. You can ask about the benefits of food and how we eat them.

Making Plans:

While the child is eating, ask about the rest of the day. What things are already known and will happen? What does he hope will happen?

Getting Ready for the Day:

(Sequencing the Day, What do I Need?)

Revise the things needed for the day by asking about the subjects they have and books, stationaries etc. that they would need for each class by having the child refer the routine and cross-check.

Saying Goodbye

Be sure to help them start the day by giving him a loving goodbye and wishing them a great day. Point out something good they have recently done to encourage them. Prompt good behaviours by reminding of things they might be having difficulty following.

2. PLAY TIME

Pointing out

For younger children, they can have access to picture cues such as a picture representing each task up on the board so the child can see food--🡪study time--🡪 playtime….. for older children, who can follow written instructions, or have been taught the sequence of activities, they can request to indulge when playtime comes around.

What do I want to play today?

The child can say what play they want to do today and then select and ask for items they want “MAY I PLEASE PLAY WITH MY FIRE TRACK” OR “MAY I PLAY IN THE DOLL-HOUSE”

Tidying up and re-arranging after play-time

The child can put away their toys by saying which toy goes where and narrating how they liked playing with it today.

3. BEDTIME

Brushing Teeth

(Location words)

While your child is brushing their teeth, use cue words to remind him where to brush next. You can proceed with brushing steps by going from top to bottom to back to front to middle, etc.

Putting on nightwear

(Labelling objects and actions)

We talk about what you’re doing while it’s being done. we can label necessary items that the child is putting on (shirt, pants, nightgown, etc.) as well as the actions he is doing (putting on, putting the arm in, pulling up).

(Requesting)

Let your child choose which clothes to wear providing it’s you who selects and presents the available choices. Make sure the child uses proper words to request the exact clothes and describes them, such as “MY PINK PAJAMAS WITH FLOWERS ON THEM”.

Bedtime Story

Book-reading is always a good way to help speech and language skills. Acknowledge asking questions relevant to the story.

At Mpower Kolkata , we have highly renowned and qualified speech therapists to help you apply each of the above steps to help your child express through verbal speech and language.

Mpower has speech and language therapists in cities like Mumbai, Bangalore and Pune as well. Find out more about the professionals here- https://mpowerminds.com/ourteam

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Image credits: Freepik

Author
Soumali Bardhan
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