Thursday, April 27, 2017

Therapy Tip: Can you Say...?

It's Therapy Thursday!! Wahoo!
This is the day that I share a tip based upon my experience as a speech-language pathologist and a mother of a child with special needs.

Today's tip is:

Can you say...

This is a very simple tip, but an important one. Are you ready?

As a speech-language pathologist, I rarely ever say to a child I am working with, "Can you say ..?" Working with toddlers who have little or no words, it may be surprising to you that I very rarely ask a child to say a word.

Here's the problem with "Can you say...?": The answer is yes or no. You are asking them if they can say something. You are not asking them to actually say it.

It may be semantics for some people, but these little things are important for speech-language pathologists!

When I want a child to say a word, I will say things like:
-"This is a car. Car. You say car."

-"Car. (Pointing to my mouth.)  Now it's your turn.  Car. (Point to their mouth.)"

-"Car! You try to say it. Car."

-"Car. Use your words. Say car."

See the difference? I'm telling them to say something not asking. This is a small difference that is very important! This isn't a magical strategy but one that's important to use when you have a child that is just beginning to say words.

If they don't say it, try again. You are just reminding them to speak and try every time you tell them to say a word. Don't ask them if they can say something, just tell them to try.

Therapy Thursday is for educational purposes only and not intended as therapeutic advice.

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