Speech Therapy Supports

Ideas and Activities

  • Think of ways to help elicit language throughout the day. To do so, create a situation in which your child will need to use language in a highly desired activity. Some words to think of are “more,” “open,” “help.” The resources your child typically uses to communicate whether that be words, visuals, signs or a communication system should be used to engage in shared conversation. 
  • Sing songs and dance, sing familiar songs and sing them often. Stop at expectant parts and look at your child expectantly; provide wait time and model the words that you want your child to fill in. 
  • Offer choices: Although you may know exactly what your child wants consider creating opportunities for them to make a choice. As you show both items ask, “Do you want the apple or the banana?” Be sure your child has looked at both items and allow them time to select. Again, use this opportunity to elicit language through all different means.
  • Create a predictable environment by using agreed upon daily schedules and routines (see below)
  • Help your child rehearse or prepare a presentation to their peers/family on a topic of interest.
  • Help your child rehearse or prepare a presentation to their peers/family on a topic they are learning about in one of their classes.
  • Play games with your child to help build connections between topics or games of strategy. For example, you can play Apples to Apples, Scattegories, Charades or Battle Ship.
  • Help your child create games such as Jeopardy based on topics they are learning in school or topic of interest.
  • Be specific in your expectations of their participation and set agreed upon rules. If they are becoming visibly upset discuss what is frustrating them and explain the perspectives of all players.
  • Help your child make connections between what they are learning in different subjects. Do the topics have connections?

Key Ideas

Wait-time

Provide your child with ample opportunities for communication. For example:

  • Give them the opportunity to choose the activity, book or game and explain why they made their choice
  • Have them request desired items verbally rather than anticipating their needs

Praise

Provide specific praise to your child regarding their performance, say: "Great job using first and next in your story” vs. “Good job."

Self-talk

As you and your child are doing the craft or working on a project, talk about what you are seeing, hearing or doing. For example, “I am gluing the red paper under the yellow paper.”

Descriptive Talk

  • Discuss and describe the items you are using in the craft or other activity do are doing with your child
  • Describe the objects/items you see or are manipulating. For example, “The glue is sticky” or “The paint is wet”, or “My sticky fingers are getting stuck on the paper.”

Model Speech

If your child speaks in 2-3-word sentences you can reinforce what they say and then model an expanded sentence using more words. This can be done in story reading activities, while making lunch, playing games, cleaning etc. 

Expand Speech

This strategy will help your child speak in more complete sentences. Expansions are when you take their sentences and repeat them without missing words/grammar or appropriate vocabulary. For example, if they say, “I paint boy” you can say, “Yes, you painted the boy.”

Extend Sentences

This strategy can help extend their sentences and introduce them to new vocabulary and concepts. Extensions are similar to expansions, but one more step up. You are not only repeating and expanding their language but also adding new information. For example, if they say, “paint fell” you could say “Yes, the yellow paint fell on the floor.”

CORE Words

Some students may use core word boards or visuals. These are words such as “open, help, want, more, hi.” Use these strategies to help facilitate language in your daily activities within the home:

  • Help
    • Use the single word “Help” when your child needs assistance
    • 2-3 words: “Help me” or “Help me, please”
    • Sentences: “I want help” – “I need help” – “Can you help me, please?”
  • Open
    • Use the single word “Open” to open toys or packages
    • 2-3 words – “Open bubbles” or “open bubbles, please”
    • Sentence – “I want to open the bubbles” – “Can you open the bubbles?”
  • More
    • Use the single word “More” when your child wants more of a food, activity, toy etc.
    • 2-3 words – “Want more” – “I want more”
    • Sentence: “I want more” – “I want more blocks”
  • Want
    • Use the single word “Want” when your child wants something or wants you to do something with them
    • 2-3 words – “Want car” or “Want car, please"

Tips for Success

Routines 

Whenever possible, create a structured routine from day-to-day. Give your child the opportunity to provide their input regarding the routine. For example, they can provide input regarding the type of activity they will engage in, the order of activity, the duration of the activity, etc.
 

Visual Schedules 

Use pictures to represent the routine that you have created. Visual schedules are useful for breaking down tasks and helping students follow routines. They are helpful tools in reminding your child of what they should be doing, and when they should start and finish. 
 
For young children, you can use images to represent the activity they are currently engaging in and the image that they will engage in next.
 
For older students, the visual schedule can represent the all the activities are planned for the day. 
 

Timers 

Timers can be helpful to create predictability and set limits on the amount of time your child should spend on an activity. You can use any timer you have such as a household timer or a phone timer. 

Reading

  • Select books that are of interest to your child. You can select together or let your child select books that are of interest to them.
  • Repetition is great – read, read, read…again and again!
  • Read through the text one time with expression – act out parts, exaggerate tones of your voice and make associated sounds when possible. For example, Car sounds, animals sounds, fun expressions “wow”.
  • Read the story again, this time stopping to discuss and share observations. For example, as you point to the picture say, “I see the dog sleeping in the doghouse.”
  • Look for cues from your child - if they are pointing or looking towards something, point to the item and talk about it. For example, “Wow yes, I see those animals too.”
  • Ask simple questions – use the wait time noted above. Be sure any communication supports your child may use are readily available. Model the response using words or any visuals or resources that are used.
  • Select books that are of interest to your child. You can select together or let your child select books that are of interest to them.
  • Repetition is great – read, read, read…again and again!
  • Read through the text one time with expression – act out parts, exaggerate tones of your voice and make associated sounds when possible. For example, Car sounds, animals sounds, fun expressions “wow”.
  • Read the story again, this time stopping to discuss and share observations. For example, as you point to the picture say, “I see the dog sleeping in the doghouse.”
  • Look for cues from your child - if they are pointing or looking towards something, point to the item and talk about it. For example, “Wow yes, I see those animals too.”
  • Ask simple questions – use the wait time noted above. Be sure any communication supports your child may use are readily available. Model the response using words or any visuals or resources that are used.
  • Together with your child find articles, magazines, and books they are interested in. Bring reading material with you wherever you go. You can read together with your younger readers and allow your older readers to read independently. 
  • With your supervision encourage your child to find articles online on topics of their interest. 
  • Help them understand perspectives of characters in the story or book. 
  • Ask them what they read about. Ask them questions that require explanations: 
    • Who and what was the story about? 
    • What was important in the story? 
    • Why was it important? 
  • You can use the resources below to find articles: 
    • www.timeforkids.com - allows you to select articles by topics of interest and grade level 
    • www.newsela.com - website allows you to select a topic of interest and the grade level 

Write 

  • Help you child write about their experience or topic of interest. Assist them in creating a clear beginning, middle and end of the story. 
  • Keep a daily journal. 
  • For your older students, begin discussing how their interest can foster a career. Research various careers and find ones that incorporate their interest. Talk about this, chart out some pros and cons or plans on how to achieve this goal. 
  • Start writing a personal essay or resume including interests and experiences. 
  • Create crossword puzzles about various topics in ELA, Social Studies, Math, Science or articles and books they read. For example, you can help your child create a crossword puzzle about a recent topic they learned in Science such as DNA, moon cycles, plant structures, etc. 
  •  Help you child find crossword puzzles on topics of their interest online and assist in completion as needed. You can use various websites to help you create crossword puzzles on www.puzzle-maker.com

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