After taking your child to their Speech Therapy session, you might be surprised to hear that your Speech Pathologist wants you and your child to complete home practice before your next session. If ‘at-home’ activities have never been recommended before, or this is your first time seeing a Speech Pathologist, you might be wondering why additional practice is needed between appointments.
In today’s blog we’re going to share some of the reasons your Speech Pathologist will recommend home practice. Some of the reasons might surprise you!
4 Reasons Your Child Needs Home Practice for Speech Therapy:
#1: More Repetition = Faster Improvement
When anyone is learning a new skill (e.g. driving, cooking, typing, etc), regular practice means that they get better results more quickly. Likewise, regular practice of target speech sounds will help your child to see improvement in their speech much faster. The latest research shows that children need around 70-100 repetitions of their target speech sounds per week to see progress towards their goals. If you want your child to spend less time in therapy and more time out on the playground chatting up a storm with confidence, home practice should be a priority.
#2: Speech Pathology Sessions Are Only a Fraction of Your Week
Your child spends a lot more time at home than they do visiting the Speech Pathologist! For most paediatric clients, a therapist will see them 1-2 times a week. While this 1:1 intensive speech therapy is great for getting targeted, informed practice with professional advice and adjustments, regular home practice is essential if you want to stay on track and reach your speech therapy goals as soon as possible.
#3: Dosage Matters
Just like taking half a tablet won’t make your headache go away completely, half of the recommended dose of speech therapy practice might not improve speech as quickly as the right dose could. One of the best ways to ‘up your dose’ and get the most benefit from a professional speech therapy intervention is to follow a home program and regularly use any home practice resources provided by your treating Speech Pathologist.
#4: Home Practice Makes a Difference
As the saying goes, practice makes perfect. The more opportunities you can give your child to practice their speech in–between sessions, the better (and faster) results they will achieve. An added bonus of home practice is that your child will get used to using their new words/sounds outside of the clinic environment… always a good sign of progress!
Are you ready to get started with home practice? Speak with your treating Speech Pathologist during your next session to find out what you can do at home with your little one to help them progress faster towards their speech therapy goals.
If you need some creative ideas for how to incorporate speech therapy practice into everyday routines, take a look at our helpful article.