Raising and supporting a child with special needs adds a few extra steps to the parenting handbook, from special equipment to therapy sessions. It’s a whole new experience for parents to face. One of the most common developmental barriers children grow up with is speech impediments.
Speech plays a vital role in a child’s life because it allows them to build relationships and express themselves. Speech therapy often focuses on various communication forms, providing your child with plenty of tools to use. However, getting your child to participate in those therapeutic tasks sometimes comes with challenges. To help you engage your child in their therapy sessions and develop their skills, here are some fun activities to improve your child’s speech therapy.
Reading Books Together
Books provide entertainment through the stories they tell and their colorful images. Reading books with your child strengthens their communication skills by offering a guided script that they can repeat back to you, allowing them to practice their communication skills. It also helps demonstrate the desired form of speech they need to achieve. Books featuring lots of images will further hold your child’s attention as they hone their skills.
Did you know that the act of riding horses improves numerous developmental impediments? Hippotherapy is a form of physical, occupational, and speech therapy that incorporates the movement of horses to enhance specific skills, ranging from breathing control to posture. There are numerous ways hippotherapy helps with speech therapy. Sometimes the practice uses actual horses, providing children with the excitement of riding these beautiful creatures and being in the company of animals. Another method of integrating hippotherapy into practice is by using horse-riding simulators. Mechanical horse-riding simulators provide just as much fun as actual horse riding, allowing children to experience the movements of a trotting horse.
Themed Flashcard Games
Most speech therapy sessions assign you extra work in the form of flashcards. To make the flashcards a little more entertaining, add themes to them. Printing out corresponding images to the words on the flashcards featuring favorite characters keeps your child engaged and excited to complete the tasks. You can even create rewards that incorporate images and quotes from their favorite characters or cartoons to encourage them when they’ve completed a flashcard well.
Involving movement into therapy sessions or speech skills training maintains your child’s engagement by keeping them active. There are numerous physical games and activities you can play to train various speech competencies. Pass a ball back and forth after they complete a phrase, create an obstacle course featuring different task stations, or do kid-friendly yoga to help them work on breathwork.
Going to therapy and practicing speech techniques at home doesn’t have to be a dreadful event for your child to endure. By adding fun activities to improve your child’s speech therapy, you create an enticing, engaging, and entertaining event your child will look forward to in the future.