Feb 17, 2020 Mom's Question: "My kiddo stuttered a little bit at first, but it got better. Now, for the last few months the stutter has gotten so bad. We are stuck on a waitlist for a speech therapy. What can I do at home to help their speech?"
The first thing I want to address with this question is the stuttering question. All children go through a normal period of stuttering from about 2-5 years of age.
However, if by three your child is stuttering severely, there’s been a change in the frequency of the stuttering, or it’s impacting their ability to communicate, you should get into a speech pathologist as soon as you can.
Secondly, I would shop around. A lot of therapists tell their future clients that the waitlists are long in other offices because they don’t want to lose you as a client. Even though it isn’t right, it’s a business tactic.
I’d recommend for you to check out all of your options:
- Early intervention is a great option if your child is between the ages of 0 to three. The therapists will come to your home for the evaluation and subsequent treatment, if warranted.
- University and college clinics typically have lower wait list times or won’t have a waitlist at all. All of the students performing the evaluations and therapy are closely monitored by Speech-Pathologists who are licensed.
- Check with your child’s school district, day care, or preschool program to see if they contract with any therapists in the area. If they are in kindergarten or older, there will most likely be a therapist in the district that can provide therapy.
Another topic I want to address is that I wrote a blog recently about fluency and speech. In that blog, I gave some resources and ideas that you can do at home. That would be a great place to start. There are also other blogs on Speech Blub’s website that you can read regarding speech therapy materials for the home environment. I give books and games that you can use.
Even if you don’t have specific books, the chances are that you can practice speech with any materials and books that you have!
Games focus on vocabulary, social/pragmatic (e.g., turn taking), colors, numbers and formulating sentences.
Books give you a chance to work on receptive (words that are understood) and expressive vocabulary (words that you can produce).
- Speech Blubs has a great app that gives your child SMART screen time. There are a ton of different games and activities that target different areas of speech and language. Your child will be having so much fun and won’t even realize that they are doing therapy!
- Richard Scary released a new eye spy game that is great for building speech and language skills. It’s sure to keep your child engaged and focused for a long time!
- Legos are a great option for speech. Depending on your child’s age and abilities, you can modify them appropriately to grow with their developing skills. For example, ask your child to pick up the green lego, count how many holes are on the lego, and then ask them to repeat a word that many times.
- You can also use Legos to build sentences (if your child can read). Write words (verbs, pronouns, nouns, adjectives … ) on legos and start building sentences like you would build a tower.
You don’t need a ton of materials or books to start working on speech. Try and use what you have.
Download Speech Blubs, look on Pinterest for ideas, and be creative! The more fun you are having, the more fun your child will also have!
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