The Day-to-Day: Parent Involvement in Speech Goals  - Hearing and Speech Agency

The Day-to-Day: Parent Involvement in Speech Goals

Have you wondered if you can support your child's speech goals at home?

Well, you can! According to Apraxia Kids, the most crucial information the parent can provide to the clinician is how their child best responds to frustrating situations, and collaborate to find the best ways to help that child overcome certain behavior challenges that are consistent to their home life. 

The amount of time spent with the clinician versus the parent is also a barrier, and can be challenging if both parties don’t collaborate. Collaboration can be even more beneficial if parents decide to integrate speech practice at home.

Our very own SLP Sara Frederick, M.S. Ed., CCC-SLP, shares her expertise on how parents can implement speech activities at home in their daily routines.

“There is a HUGE push right now for integrating therapy goals into a child’s functional environment. In fact, in their most recent edition, the ASHA Leader published an article about the importance of the coaching model and incorporating language strategies into a child’s functional routines. Additionally, the state of Maryland is currently experiencing vast changes within early intervention programs, to encourage use of therapy goals and strategies within a family’s everyday activities. The key to this is collaboration and caregiver education. As clinicians, we need to learn from parents: what motivates the child, what skills we can build upon, and what activities are particularly tricky. We can then coach parents through these activities (i.e. dressing, mealtime, transitions, sharing books, cleaning up, etc.), by providing specific language strategies to use in order to build upon their child’s current communication skills and decrease the associated frustration of communication mismatch. Many of these strategies eventually become habitual for parents and generalize to other routines, allowing families to have more successful and productive interactions, overall. It’s very empowering for both parents and children!

For parents of early language learners, these strategies could be as simple as:
-providing two verbal choices, paired with presented items
-simplifying sentences when speaking to the child
-slowing down speech, adding pauses, and adding emphasis to words
-including visual cues, such as pictures, gestures, or signs when modeling language
-repeating and expanding your child’s sentence (i.e. “Dog run”, “Yes, the dog runs fast!)

For parents of children who stutter, strategies to shape the home communication environment can include:
-showing the child that he or she has your attention with your body position, eye contact, and non-verbal responses (i.e. nodding)
-refraining from looking toward other distractions (i.e. cells phones, siblings), during communication exchanges with your child
-commenting first on what your child said instead of how they said it

No matter the communication goals, it’s crucial for parents to incorporate strategies into everyday routines. Your child’s SLP may only see them 30-60 minutes per week, and historically, these sessions have been quite structured. While this model is beneficial for some learners, research is supporting that progress is more measurable when a communicator can practice language strategies within more organic opportunities.”


Want to learn more about how you can support your child's speech goals with at-home practice? Reach out to HASA's amazing clinical team at 410-318-6780 or by visiting 

HASAHarry and Jeanette Weinberg Building 5900 Metro Drive Baltimore, MD 21215 410.318.6780