If you are a parent of a child working on speech sound production (i.e. articulation), you may be wondering how to bring their progress to completion. When it comes time to wrap up their therapy journey, it can be hard to know how or when to transition to independent practice at home. To help with this tricky phase, we're outlining eight ideas for home practice to master the last level of speech sound production and ensure a successful transition from therapy to their everyday lives.
Create a Routine: One of the best ways to make speech therapy effective is to create a routine. This could involve practicing for 10-15 minutes every day, at the same time and in the same place. The consistency will help your child to remember what they have been taught in therapy and use those new skills to finish speech therapy.
Use Visual Aids: For many children, visual aids can be very effective in reinforcing speech sounds. Using flashcards, pointing to your own mouth, or using pictures can help to connect the sound with the cue, making it easier for your child to remember and reproduce it.
Play Games: Children learn best through play, so incorporating games into speech practice can be a fun and engaging way to master speech sound production. Some popular games include Memory, Bingo, and I-Spy. Using a visual cue from above, place a sticky note with their sound on it next to them while you play a board game!
Read Out Loud: Reading aloud can be a great way to practice speech sounds in context. Choose books that they can easily read, and encourage your child to read slowly along with you, "catching" their new sounds, and repeating the words until they feel comfortable with the sound.
Use a Mirror: Practicing in front of a mirror can help your child to see how their mouth is moving and to check the accuracy of the sound. They can use the mirror to help them self-correct any old productions, too.
Use Technology: Apps like Articulation Station or voice memos can help your child to practice their speech sounds on-the-go. These apps are fun, provide opportunities to hear their productions, and can be a great way to reinforce what they have learned in therapy.
Use Praise: One of the most important things you can do as a parent is to boost your child's confidence around their speech. Make sure to praise them when they use their new sounds, and to focus on what they are doing well, even if it is just the hard work they're putting into practice. This is important to building their confidence in making those new sounds.
Practice in Real Life Situations: Finally, one of the best ways to practice speech skills is to use them in real-life situations. Encourage your child to use their new sounds when talking to friends and family members, at breakfast, during car rides, or when ordering at a restaurant. Daily practice in their routine activities will help to build their confidence and master their speech goals, both leading to finishing speech therapy.
Speech therapy is a great way to help your child achieve their full potential. Often times, the last level proves trickiest. It is important to know how to transition from therapy to independent practice at home. By using the tips outlined in this blog post, you can help your child to master the last level of speech goals. Remember to be consistent, use visual aids, and to play games to make the process fun and engaging for your child. With the right attitude and support, your child can conquer their speech goals and blossom into a confident and effective communicator. Remember, we're here to help every step of the way!
Looking for ways to support your child's speech production skills at home? We've got you covered! Check out our comprehensive carryover strategy guide for practice ideas that seamlessly fit into your daily routine. It's filled with effective techniques to enhance your child's communication skills outside of therapy sessions. By playing an active role in your child's speech therapy journey, you can help them achieve their speech goals!