By Becca Zilk, Graduate Student Clinician
Does your child get frustrated or shut down when you correct their speech/language?
Home practice is a very important aspect of getting students to generalize the skills they are learning in speech/language therapy to their daily lives. However, students can often have a hard time following through with this practice at home. They may become embarrassed or frustrated with their family members correcting them on their speech and language and feel that they are constantly being told what they are doing wrong. Understandably this feeling of always being reminded of their challenges can become frustrating and discouraging to the child.
Nobody wants our students to lose self-confidence, so here are some tips to help support your child’s speech/language development in the home, while limiting feelings of frustration and self-doubt.
- Pick a time of the day to listen for errors: Instead of correcting your child every time you hear an error throughout the entire day, pick a time that you will focus on listening for the skill that your child is focusing on. This could be during mealtime, while riding in the car, or during after-school playtime.
- Make the expectation is clear: Tell your child what you will be listening for (e.g., this could be their good speech sounds, their use of appropriate grammar, their reading accuracy, etc.) and for how long. You may want to set a visual timer to help them know for how long you will be correcting them (click HERE for more information about using visual timers). Tell your child that this is the time that you will be helping them practice for the speech classes at Enrichment Therapy and Learning Center. Older children might benefit from hearing that practicing these skills at home will help get them closer to being done coming to therapy faster.
- Choose times when they are alone: Try not to correct your child in front of their friends or in public. This can be embarrassing to the child and they may start to feel self-conscious and speak less out in public. They may even feel embarrassed when other family members are around. Talk with your child about who in your family they feel comfortable being corrected in front of. If siblings are around when you are correcting your child, make sure the siblings know that it is your job to help your child with their speech/language, not the siblings. Many children can become annoyed when their siblings (especially if it’s younger siblings) correct them.
- Try to make home practice fun: Speech/language practice can be done in all kinds of settings. Try to pick times when your child is in a good mood and having fun. You can incorporate practice into playtime and take turns playing a game and asking them to say their sounds or words. Read more HERE about ways to keep your child motivated. Keep things light and encourage your child by reminding them of how hard they are working!
Enrichment Therapy & Learning Center has locations in the Iowa City, IA area and Des Moines, IA area. We provide individual speech-language therapy and tutoring as well as offering small group academic programs. At Enrichment Therapy & Learning Center our passion is to help kids achieve effective communication skills and gain academic success. Contact us for more information on how we can help your child succeed.
740 Community Drive, Unit A
North Liberty, IA 52317
5530 West Pkwy, Suite 300
Johnston, IA 50131