As is the case with any other skill that is acquired during childhood, learning how to effectively communicate, both in terms of the words we choose and how we speak, is a skill that develops over many months and years. Some young children begin to babble early in infanthood, while others will wait until they’re comfortable with speech and language patterns.
According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, the majority of children begin to talk between the ages of 1 and 2 years. By the age of 2, most children possess a strong foundation of words they can work with (for example, “ball,” “cat,” “Mama,” “Dada,” “cup,” or “eat”) and are regularly putting words together to form two-word sentences and questions.
Some children, however, don’t fall within the normal range for speech. This is not always a sign of delayed speech or language; in some cases, it may be appropriate to begin introducing some simple speech activities with your child at home. Some adults who may be struggling with their communication skills may also benefit from practicing some specific speech and language techniques at home.
At-home speech therapy can be particularly helpful for children and adults who don’t become easily frustrated and only have mild delays or articulation errors. More serious communication issues, such as speech regressions, communication problems relating to Autism Spectrum Disorder, or traumatic brain injury, should be addressed by an experienced and licensed speech therapist.
If you think you or a loved one would benefit from speech therapy with a qualified professional, get started by scheduling your free introductory call today!
Can I Do Speech Therapy at Home?
Speech therapy is most effective when conducted by a properly educated and licensed speech and language pathologist. One of the most integral parts of speech therapy is the ability of the therapist to observe, provide feedback, and demonstrate how to effectively target the areas that are most challenging. With Great Speech, we offer virtual speech therapy appointments. This means that you can reap all of the benefits of traditional in-person speech therapy in the comfort of your own home. All you need is a quiet space and a wifi connection.
How Do I Start Speech Therapy at Home?
If you want to work on your child’s communication skills, there are a few things you can do at home to get started.
Consider your Options – Why tackle speech therapy on your own when there are accessible options in your community? Reach out to your doctor or your child’s pediatrician if you think that you or your child may have an articulation problem or speech delay. They can then advise you on the best course of action and recommend therapies and resources best suited to your or your child’s needs.
Assess Communication Skills – If you are determined to work on your own or one-on-one with your child, it is important to identify areas that are most challenging. How to proceed will depend on a number of things, including:
Type of Speech Involvement Needed
Try a Variety of At-Home Methods
Once you’re ready to move forward, trying a variety of techniques and approaches will help your child improve speech, language, and communication skills. These approaches may include:
Minimizing Pacifier and Bottle Usage with Your Child
Increasing Visibility (showing the object or a picture of the object when saying the word)
Prompting and Withholding (within reason – effective speech therapy involves pushing the child out of their comfort zone from time to time)
Making Plenty of Observations (track your child’s progress)
Know Your Limits
Above all, it’s essential to understand that while you may be able to assist your child at home and help them develop vital communication skills, it may not be possible for you to correct more significant problems without the help of a professional. Getting started with speech therapy is as easy as scheduling your free introductory call today!
How do Adults do Speech Therapy at Home?
Speech therapy exercises at home can help adults work to improve their communication skills in a variety of ways. Below are some practical speech therapy techniques that adults can do at home:
Mirror Practice: Try standing in front of a mirror and saying the sounds that are most challenging, with a particular focus on making the correct movements of the mouth and tongue.
Tongue Twisters: Practicing tongue twisters is a fun and challenging way to target articulation.
Describe Pictures in Books: Study some pictures in magazines and books and then describe out loud what you see. Slowly speaking aloud while focusing on your speech sounds helps to practice your articulation.
Slow Speech: Always speak carefully and slowly while focusing on saying each word correctly and completely.
Deep Breathing: Try taking deep breaths and engaging in relaxation or meditative activities.
Frequent Pausing: Pausing between words and phrases will help to control the rate and fluency of your speech.
Speaking: Have regular conversations with family members, friends, and colleagues to practice your conversation and overall communication skills.
Listen: Regularly listening to audiobooks or having conversations with friends or family requires strong listening skills. Don’t be afraid to ask someone to speak more slowly or repeat themselves if you are not able to understand them.
Reading: Reading aloud daily will help improve your reading comprehension skills and speech fluency.
It is important to note that the above are just a few examples of speech therapy exercises that adults can work on at home. If you or a loved one has a particular speech therapy goal, working with a speech-language pathologist to develop a personalized exercise plan is the best course of action.
If you feel you’ve reached the limit of what you can do to help yourself or your child, it is time to reach out to a speech and language pathologist. Get started with one of our amazing speech therapists by scheduling your free introductory call today!