Back to School: Ease into Speech Therapy
The start of a new school year is an exciting time, and it's also a change from summer schedules. If your child is continuing speech therapy this fall, here are some tips on how to ease back into therapy sessions after a summer break:
If your child had a break from speech therapy over the summer, it may be beneficial to practice some individual speech sounds and/or words with them in front of a mirror on a daily basis in the weeks before school returns. Even five minutes a day can increase confidence and build back to a routine. To make things even more fun, try incorporating a game or race.
For many children who are nonverbal, getting back to school is as much about reestablishing a routine as it is catching up on goals. In these cases, try to slowly mimic the routine of a school day routine as much as possible at home to gradually transition to school life. For many children with language goals, modeling the desired skills can be a great help. This can also be incorporated through fun games such as Simon Says, which require listening and interactive skills.
For children who stutter, it's a great time to get back to fundamentals. Be sure to avoid showing frustration and instead slow your own pace, ask fewer questions, and allow your child to speak at his or her own rate. Try not to finish sentences or encourage your child to "hurry up." Maintain positivity and compliment your child on his or her perseverance in speaking.
If you have questions about returning to school or have noticed differences in your child's communication over the summer, reach out to a Sidekick therapist today.
Paul Rice, M.S., CCC-SLP