What can I do as a parent to help my child succeed in speech therapy?
The best thing to do is incorporate what is done in therapy into your home environment. However, many parents feel like they don’t have the time to work with their child on specific activities given by your therapist.
Perhaps it is a challenge to dedicate time for articulation drills with your child. Instead, you can point out specific words used in your environment that have the targeted sounds. Produce the target sounds louder in words to point out the sound. Have your child repeat you and encourage the correct production. It is okay if they don’t produce it correctly on the first try. Reward your child for trying by simply saying “good try”. Always stay positive! Your child will be more willing to try if you reward them for their effort.
How can language skills be incorporated into my home environment?
Language encompasses many different aspects, and your child’s development goes through many stages. One important thing to remember is always stay one step ahead of your child. For example, if your child is not using words yet, have your child use sign language, imitate words, or give your child two choices to encourage spontaneous single words. Always build off of your child’s language. If your child is using two-word phrases, encourage three-word phrases by modeling three-or-more-word phrases and have your child imitate the phrases.
Older children may use many words to communicate, however, they may have a hard time processing information. With older children, it is great to explain why you do things. For example, imagine one parent has had a hard day at work and has told your child they cannot play right now. Take the opportunity to describe the parent’s body language (posture, eyes, etc.) and explain, “I don’t think she wants to play right now because she is tired. Maybe ask her later after she has time to rest.”
If another person did not respond the way your child wanted them to respond due to your child’s behavior, be sure to explain why this occurred. Help your child repair the communication if it broke down.
Carry-over of therapy skills to the home is very important. There are lots of simple ways you can incorporate your child’s specific goals into your environment without having to do a ton of work. Just ask your treating therapist for a few recommendations and new ideas!
Always remember to allow time for your child to be a child too! Everyone needs a break at times. There is such a thing as too much work! Incorporate carry-over activities based on how your child responds. If your child needs a break, allow him/her to have one!
Kelly Benson is a licensed Speech-Language Pathologist with Aspire Therapy
The holidays are here! That means time spent celebrating with family and friends. Many of us will travel. Others will have visitors. Let’s face it- the holiday schedule is a challenge for all!
Yes, we are therapists who preach most of the year about home exercise programs, homework, and the need for consistency. However, we are also humans. Many of us are parents as well. And sometimes it is important to hear from the therapists who preach it the most, it is OK if you miss your routine on a day!
So as the schedule gets busy, life happens, and there are simply not enough hours in the day to get it all done, do not be too hard on yourself. You are an amazing parent and you are good enough! Being a parent is hard. Being a parent during the holiday season is even harder, and being a parent to a child with additional needs is extra, extra hard.
Enjoy the time with your children and family this holiday season!
No one day of missed homework will, ‘make or break,’ your child. We will all be back on schedule before you know it and your children will continue to learn and grow!
Happy Holidays from Aspire!
Dr. Angela Kloiber is a licensed Physical Therapist with Aspire Therapy
Did you know that getting your kids involved in holiday baking could help them meet their therapy goals? Whether it’s OT, PT, or Speech, helping out in the kitchen can be full of benefits for little ones. Plus it’s great time to spend together as a family!
Tips to make holiday baking with your kids successful:
If your child is younger and/or needs more supervision, have them help with basic steps such as pouring ingredients from cups (with your help if necessary), stirring, etc. This is great practice for both gross and fine motor skills.
If your child is older and/or more independent, you can ask for their help with measuring and following multiple step directions using a recipe. This is great for speech and language comprehension!
In addition, interacting with new foods of any kind can be helpful for kids who are picky eaters or have sensory sensitivities. Make it fun! Set aside some extra ingredients and let kids experience messy play and mix them by hand (if this makes you squirm, just remember - it’s about exploration! You don’t have to use this in your finished baking product). Or, if your child is hesitant about different textures, gently encourage them to stick just one finger in and then tell them how proud of them you are! Expand conversational skills by talking about the qualities of the ingredients (what color is flour? Is it wet or dry? Light or heavy?).
Decorating can be a fun final step that further bolsters fine motor skills and creativity, whether it’s selecting sprinkles or spreading frosting. Finally, celebrate all the hard work with getting to taste the finished product! Don’t force your child to eat if they’re still feeling skeptical, but rest assured that all the fun interactions with food you’ve just facilitated are building blocks towards becoming a confident and adventurous eater. And if you’re worried about allergies or simply don’t want to give your kids too much sugar, there are plenty of healthy and alternative holiday recipes out there to fit every family’s needs (just a Google search away).
Happy holidays from Aspire!
Melanie Sard is a licensed Occupational Therapist with Aspire Therapy.
The holiday season is right around the corner! Before you know it, Black Friday, Small Business Saturday, and Cyber Monday will be here.
Need gift ideas for your kids? Your Aspire therapist has some great ideas - ask them!
You can also check out the AblePlay Toy Guide. It has some great toy ideas for kids of ALL abilities. Check out their toy guide ideas for your child.
You can't tell! His climbing skills (gross motor) certainly are not delayed, but his language skills might be.
Developmental delay is a diagnosis/term used to describe children who are developing milestones in any one or more of the below five areas at a slower pace than other children of the same age:
Developmental delays may or may not be caused from underlying conditions. The term is very broad and thus it will look differently in each child. For this reason, treatment duration by PT, ST, or OT will also vary greatly. One thing is true for all children with developmental delays - the sooner treatment is initiated after diagnosis, the quicker the child is able to achieve age-appropriate skills and/or prevent further delays than if treatment is delayed!
Do I need to worry if my child is developmentally delayed? Check out the link below for more information on milestones by age for children from two months to five years old. If you are still unsure, check with your pediatrician or call Aspire today!
Angela Kloiber is a licensed Physical Therapist with Aspire Therapy.
October is National Physical Therapy Month! What better time to talk about what physical therapists do, specifically pediatric physical therapists!
Our job is to work with babies, toddlers, preschoolers, kids, teens, and young adults to reach their maximum potential to function independently. We are the movement experts of the health profession. That’s it! For some kids, that may mean strengthening, stretching, working on balance and coordination, pain management, and ordering and utilizing adaptive equipment.
Has your child had an injury during a sport or undergone a recent surgery?
Does your child fall often or seem uncoordinated and off balance?
Does your child often complain of pain in the same body part?
Has your child been diagnosed with a neuromuscular disorder?
Is your child developmentally delayed (more on this in a few weeks)?
If any of these sound like your child, contact Aspire for an evaluation today and let’s improve your child’s quality of life!
Angela Kloiber is a licensed Physical Therapist with Aspire Therapy.
Aspire Therapy & Development Services, LLC
200 Enterprise Drive, Verona, WI 53593
Mail: P.O. Box 930518, Verona, WI 53593
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