Thinking Outside of the Box with Speech and Language Therapy

Children of all ages within schools receive speech and language therapy. Some are not native English speakers, others need assistance with articulation, and some may have pragmatic needs due to an autism diagnosis. Each individual has different needs for their therapy sessions. It is important to look at the goals for each child and set up ways to actively engage them when they are with you for therapy.

Get to know hobbies and interests

Children respond more to sessions when they are invested in the content. Take time to do interest inventories of the kids that you work with to learn about their hobbies and interests. If they like space, you can gear some of the time to planet, photos from NASA, and other related items. Younger kids may just enjoy flash cards that are in the shape of a cat if they love kittens. The actual content can still be whatever you are working on at the time, but dress it up with things that they love from outside of school. Go a step further to assist those that need more social skill development. Work with others at the school to set up clubs for socializing. Build them around interests like Minecraft, LEGO, or games that everyone is into.

Sing songs and make up your own

Music is a fantastic item to incorporate into speech and language lessons. Younger children will enjoy singing songs to boost their self confidence. While some children may be shy and inhibited during regular sessions, singing will often break that shell. Use books of fun songs with repetition to get kids involved. There are many stories that now have silly spoofs in print for different holidays and observances. Older students will probably enjoy making up their own silly songs. Speech pathologists can use beats from other songs and create your own using skills that are being worked on during sessions. Being able to share these will continue to encourage social skill and confidence building.

Take time to talk with others in your school and district to see what has worked in the past with children. Perhaps children really enjoy acting, so it may be more beneficial to start an acting club. This will encourage all children from different areas to work together toward the goal of their production. When the entire teams gets involved to think outside of the box, it will have more benefits for the kids. Keep an open mind and see how you can work on speech and language goals within unique settings to keep the kids working on their individual goals.

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