Summer Practice is Vital for Speech Therapy Progress
Continuous practice is a vital component of making and maintaining progress in speech therapy. While summer break from school is extremely valuable to families and children, summer should not be a time to break from speech therapy or language services. With the goal of making your child’s new communication skills a permanent part of daily life, practice during summer break is indispensable.
Summer Speech Therapy Recommendation
While we do offer a speech therapy summer camp, we know this is not the perfect solution for every student. At a minimum, we recommend your child continue to come to Child Language & Developmental Speech (CLADS) at least once a week throughout the summer for maintaining their progress in speech. We love summer here, with gorgeous weather, we will take full advantage and use the great outdoors when possible to keep your child interested, practicing, and improving. Nature provides a bounty of scenery, animals, and plants to practice all of the most difficult sounds, and the physical activity of walking and exploring makes learning engaging and fun.
At Home Practice
In addition to coming in once a week, your Speech Language Pathologist (SLP) will work with you to provide relevant and fun speech practice activities for at home. Improving language and communication skills is best achieved with consistent, constant, and fun practice. We recommend you work in regular practice at home throughout your daily activities. Here are a few examples of what your SLP might advise:
If your child is working to improve age-appropriate speech sounds, repeat his/her statements back to him/her with the correct pronunciation of the word used. Encourage your child to pronounce the word correctly. Do not criticize him/her for making articulation errors, rather praise him/her for his/her efforts.
To help the continued growth of your child’s language skills, READ, READ, READ and READ some more. Evidence shows that books can be used in a variety of ways to develop language and early literacy skills. When reading, ask questions about what your child sees on the page. For example: “What are the characters doing?” “What do objects on the page look like?” “How do the characters feel?” “Why do they feel that way?”
Be sure to let your SLP know if you are taking an extended vacation. We will provide you with additional practice items that are easy to manage during travel or vacation. For example:
Play the classic game of Eye Spy while you are on the go. This game can be played anywhere, whether you are at the store, driving in the car, on vacation in the mountains, visiting the beach or even just visiting Grandma’s house. Start with a simple object, such as a tree, and describe it. For example, “I spy with my little eye something that has green leaves, is tall, and birds like to build nests in.” or “I spy with my little eye something that has four legs, has fur, and likes to chew on bones.” Keep trying to give your child clues until he/she gets it. This is a great language building activity and fun for the whole family to take part in.
If you have any questions at all about how to manage your child’s speech therapy during summer vacation, give us a call, we look forward to hearing from you. 704-845-0561