Pediatric Speech Therapy: It's Not Just For The Classroom
As a parent, you wait with baited breath for your child's first word. In fact, you may find yourself encouraging momma over daddy or vice versa. When that first word is delayed, hard to understand, or even absent, anxiety can set in. Pediatric speech therapy can help a child who is struggling to speak to communicate more effectively. In addition, it can help a parent learn tactics that positively reinforce a child's attempts at speech.
Speech therapy can include much more than an office visit and didactic speech exercises. The world of pediatric therapy now embraces the whole child and goes far beyond classroom or treatment room experiences.
Activities that Encourage Speech Development
Children learn best by active participation and immersion in activities that engage their minds and bodies. Daily activities offer wonderful opportunities to engage a child in spoken language and vocabulary development. A simple trip to the grocery store offers the chance to discuss dinner plans, different types of foods, various types of payments, and a wide variety of social interaction.
Physical activities that engage both the body and the mind can help children remember and recall more effectively. Adding dancing or physical movement along with music or other mnemonic devices can be both fun and educational for children who struggle with memory issues.
Animal Assisted Therapy
Children often resist speaking to speech therapists or other professionals, due to either shyness or a stubborn streak. The introduction of an animal such as a dog, cat, or other domesticated pet in therapy sessions can help reduce the feeling judgement or intimidation that a child may feel. It is also well known that petting a dog or cat can help reduce overall stress, which can go a long way to helping a child feel relaxed and more open to therapy.
Children are growing up in a world filled with multi-media options. Since many children can work tablets, phones, or other devices better than their parents, including speech and language applications as part of their therapy makes good sense.
There are a variety of applications that can be used across several operating platforms that encourage and reinforce children's language skills. Using music, bright colors, and favorite characters can help children learn new language concepts without them even realizing it.
More than Just Story Time
Reading to your child from an early age is still one of the best ways to teach language development and encourage a good vocabulary. Along with weekly library visits, the option of having books on an e-reader can entice a child to read on their own with the use of speech to voice technology.
Remember that speech therapy goes far beyond the therapist's office, with a little effort and a bit of forethought, you can engage your child in activities that can encourage speech development every day. Speak to a professional, like those at Achieve Center, for more information on how to incorporate speech therapy into your child's daily life.