So, your child has just been evaluated for special education services in the school setting and is receiving speech therapy in school. There are many different ways that you can help your child’s therapy carryover at home! First, make sure you have a copy of your child’s “Individualized Education Plan,” or IEP. This will list each goal/objective that your child is working on at school. Using what you know your child is working on at school, here are a couple different ways to work on speech and language activities at home:
Throughout your day to day activities, have your child use longer phrases and sentences to describe what is going on around them. For example, if you are on a play-date at the park and see a dog, have your child describe the dog. Feel free to prompt them if they need a little help. Here are a couple ways to use describing words in sentences: “I see a black dog. The dog is eating grass. The boy is walking the brown dog. There is a big dog under the table. The black dog is standing on top of the hill.” Ask your child questions like, “who drives your bus, what do you use a crayon for, where do we go when we’re sick, why do we go to bed, when do you go to the doctor?
Have your child follow a variety of directions with conceptual vocabulary. If you are coloring with your child, give them directions such as “Give me the blue crayon,” or “Find the crayon under the table.” Use conceptual vocabulary (in, on, under, etc.) frequently when talking with your child.
Literacy and Reading Comprehension
If your child is showing some difficulty with reading in school, read to your child more frequently at home. If your child is reading to you, make sure that the stories that they select are very simple and below their reading level in school. Choosing books that are simple decreases the frustration at home and encourages your child to read. Have your child pick the books that they want to read. Check with your local librarian because they can help you find books at certain reading levels. When you are done with the story, begin to ask your child simple “who, what, where, when, and why” questions. Talk about the events and characters in the story.
If your child is having difficulty pronouncing some of their speech sounds, begin to model those sounds for your child and have them practice. Even 5-10 minutes of practice a couple times a week can help your child’s speech production skills! Ask your school speech therapist to send home some of the words that they are working on in speech so that your child can practice that sound at home.
Those are just a couple ways to address your child’s speech and language skills at home. If you have questions or need more resources or training on how to implement strategies at home, reach out to your school-based speech therapist for help.
Written by school-based speech-language pathologist, Karissa Milliron