Using speech therapy skills in the home and other environments

Sarah and Julieanne discuss “carry-over”, which is the ability to take the skills learned in the treatment session and use them in other enviroments such as at home, school, or with peers.

Carry-over of skills are important because it lets the therapist know that what is done during therapy sessions is actually working elsewhere also.  It means the child understands what you’re working on, they know how to use the skills, and it’s transferring to each part of their life, and not just in the therapy room.  It’s exciting to see what you are doing for the child is really working because it’s a part of the child.

A lot of times when you create a situation where you’re modeling something, it’s easier to have success, but when it’s something a child is now doing on their own it’s important to them.

Some kids are seen at home and some are seen at the clinic, and obviously when you’re at home it’s easier to see carry-over; the parents are seeing what you’re doing, you can stop from a structured activity and do more unstructured, or get the child to request an objects at home or use their language in their home setting.

In the clinic you can create an enviroment where as the therapist you know what the goal is, and you tell the child what you’re going to work on today, and the child doesn’t know what you’re going to ask, and so the pressure on the child is a little different.  You know the child is going to respond a certain way if you give them a model, but if you remove the model, what will the child do?

So when you don’t have to remind them, and they start self-correcting, that is a sign of carry-over.  It’s important when you see that to let the parent know so they continue to do it at home.

Parents can also place importance on what you’re working on to help the child realize it’s something they need to do and that helps with carry-over, and the child may be more willing to participate with the homework if the parent is involved.  Parents should understand there is a balance of homework and structured activies, not just when you’re prompting for something, and when there is success, the child should be rewarded and encourage the child.  For example you don’t neccessarily have to be doing the homework to praise the child for reaching a target goal.

At home the parent can work on target goals all day long without sitting down to “do homework” for 5 hours.  If the child speaks incorrectly you can wait a second to see if they’ll self-correct, and if not you can assist the child with what the correct speach should be.

When you send homework and the parents say the child is adoment they are not going to do any work, the main thing parents should have is patience and create an enviroment where the child knows it’s OK to make a mistake.  The child usually wants to do what you ask, but it’s hard and they know it’s something they’ll have to work on.  Parents should be persistant and encourge the child vs probing or giving the child a hard time for missing something.  Parents should ask their therapist if they have questions about what to do at home.

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