Last week one of my favourite bloggers Rosilind Jukic from A Little R & R put a teaser on Facebook that made me really excited. It was a graphic announcing that she will be doing a post on how she is homeschooling with a language delay. This momma always needs help in that department!
I read Rosilind’s post and got some inspiration from what she is doing. Than I sent her an email and through the exchange I realized I couldn’t tell her everything we do in a quick exchange and that inspired this post!
First of all It Takes Two To Talk by Jan Pepper and Elanine Weitzman is my speech therapy textbook. I got this book when Lilly was 2 and have been implementing into our daily life since. 🙂 It is a great tool and I also recommend you check out the non-profit Canadian charitable organization Hanen Center’s, (which is behind this book) webpage for more parent tips!
There I said it. For me that is my biggest issue with Lilly’s language delay. It’s a complex delay and their is no cookie cutter way to get her to talk!
Lilly’s school curriculum is based on her speech goals. These are the 4 goals we are focusing on:
1. Lilly will be modelled the following vocabulary words: baby, bye, up, pen, and tea at least 3 times a day. These words are from a list of 25 words that her speech pathologist and I came up with. Together we decided that these where meaningful words to Lilly.
2. Lilly will build her non verbal imitation skills by copying gestures through simple songs twice a day. The idea behind that is we are teaching Lilly to copy something so one day she can verbally copy mine or A-man’s words for a more advance level of speech. An example of what the end goal looks like is: I say to A-man “Good Bye.” Than he attempts, “Gaa Bye”. We want to be able to do this with Lilly.
3. Lilly will increase her play activates by participating in 3 different 10 minute play activities with an adult at home each day. This goal covers two things: 1. to follow an adult lead activity for a period of time, and 2. expand Lilly’s type of play.
4. Lilly will improve her fine motor skills by drawing lines with a definite Start & Stop. This is a pre writing activity with the long-term goal of being able to type plus another copying concept like goal 2.
We do a theme based curriculum vs a subject base because Lilly is not yet ready for a subject base. Our theme activities do include math, science, literacy, and many more subjects in them. The themes include activities that are based on the goals above.
These are my 5 tips about speech that I have learned over the years:
Pain Affects Development We had no idea how pain was affecting Lilly until we got her pain under control. Since than we have a child who is in prime condition to learn things. Her brain is no longer focused on the pain so it can take in the speech therapy.
Tiredness Affects Development Just like anything else your teaching a tired child will struggle with speech activities. I find Lilly does much better with speech things when she is well rested. We often do speech activities when she wakes up and at her peak energy level.
Simplicity The more complex I made speech the less fun it was for Lilly and I. By just focusing on one thing at a time I have seen better results. I now try very hard not to multi task therapy now. If we are doing speech, it’s just speech. If I am focusing on physiotherapy it’s just physiotherapy and no speech. Less covered but a much happier team!
Time One of my College Professors used to say all the time is “The biggest gift we can give a child is time.” It’s true giving Lilly extra time to respond, slowing things way down when we sing is the biggest gift we can give her in speech therapy. Also when you change a speech program I have learned it takes at least 6 weeks before you see any results.
Music This makes up at least 75% of our activities. If we are not singing it’s playing in the background which often leads to a karaoke sing off. We also have some wooden instruments that we play with every day!
Since changing things up we have seen results. Lilly now has two new words, owe and bye. She is also making strides with each of her goals.
The biggest tool that I have and I can not replicate is A-man. He is her biggest teacher. As he is learning speech I find she is trying to copy him. 🙂
I hope you found this helpful!
This post is linked up at Mommy Moments