Where do I begin speech therapy at home?
When working on speech therapy at home it is important to have a starting point. The best starting point would be having a Speech Language Pathologist do an assessment on your child. This will identify the speech errors that are present. It will also provide some guidance with what order to work on the sound errors.
A speech assessment is worth the investment. It will provide a starting point and a path to follow. If there is no possible way of getting an assessment, don't give up. Keep trying to find a way. In the meantime see if you can identify the errors yourself. Sometimes it is very obvious when only one sound is in error such as an /r/ or /s/ and it is easy to spot. Other times there may be many sounds in error and that can be intimidating.
Stimulability is the starting point
Regardless of what sounds are in error, the starting point will always be stimulability. Stimulability is the ability to say a speech sound on it's own. Can the child do it if shown a model of how to do it? If the incorrect sound is an /f/, can the client bite down on their bottom lip and blow creating an accurate sound?
Being able to say a sound accurately is critical. You don’t have to fixate on the sound being 100% pristine. You just want the sound to be as accurate as possible. It should be a clear improvement over their incorrect way of saying it. If you are going to be practicing speech sounds at home, it is important that the sound is accurate. If you are practicing a sound that is incorrect, it will be an exercise in futility.
Start building on how many times the child can say the sound correctly. Can they say the sound 1x? That is great. Try saying it 2x then 3x progressing up to 5x in a row. Start slow with the target sound stretched (saying it slowly) and emphasized. Gradually increase the speed and try to say the sound quicker with less emphasis. It should start sounding more natural as you go quicker. Keep at it until you can do 5 sets of 5.
Believe in yourself. Do a little bit each day and amazing things will happen. Do not be afraid of making things worse. Doing nothing is probably the worst thing you could do. Stay committed to making a difference.
Let me know how you make out. I would love to hear from you.
Do you want to learn how to best support you child? Download the 20 best tips for speech practice.