I was inspired to create this video/post because of my own to-do list! Like everyone else, I’m pretty busy, but there are so many ways I can and do work in speech and language learning throughout our day. Often, when I talk to families, they have some misconceptions about speech therapy: it needs to be this super-structured adult-directed specially set aside time. And when people can’t make that happen, because… life!They feel guilty, and they think they can’t make a difference in their child’s abilities. But I’m here to tell you THAT’S NOT TRUE!
The best, best, best way to work on developing your child’s speech and language is to work it into your day. Research consistently shows that parents are the most important teacher for young children. Even the most perfect, most intensive therapy program is no match for you and your busy life. Therapy programs have to work on something called “generalization,” which is basically whether or not skills learned in therapy can carry over to new settings and new communication partners. So, if your child learns to say “bubbles please!” to your therapist in her office, that doesn’t mean your child will automatically ask you or use that skill at home. But if you practice all day long in different contexts, that skill is more likely to stick and to generalize.
When parents are really busy, they often have trouble with the “big picture” strategies, like “get face to face” because it’s vague, and they have A LOT on their minds. When that happens, people are sometimes much more successful with specific instructions, like “Say the names of the clothes while you’re folding laundry. You can work in words about colors, sizes, and numbers.”
So I’ll spend some time over the next few posts giving you some specific ideas to help encourage your child’s speech and language development while you’re still doing your day-to-day activities. Talk to you soon!