Are you taking a break from speech therapy over the summer? Here’s how help your child maintain their skills:
1. Practice what you know! As a parent, you may feel that you need to try to ‘replace’ your child’s speech therapist over the summer if they are not going to be seen by one on a weekly basis. This is not true! Do not put pressure on yourself or your child by expecting significant gains or attempting to teach brand new speech or language skills. Instead, practice what you and your child have already been taught by your speech therapist. This keeps the momentum going without setting unrealistic expectations. This also supports the upkeep of the skills you both have worked so hard to gain! Whether your child is working on speech sounds, early language skills, fluency techniques,
social skills, etc. practice what they are already good at.
2. Check in now! Use your last few visits before summer break to ensure you understand and feel comfortable with your child’s goals. Of course, your speech therapist will be available over email and can answer questions and provide support during the summer months if needed - however, utilize the time you do have in person (or on teletherapy) to get that support so you can feel confident practicing at home on your own.
3. Get creative! Enjoy summer break as you typically would with your family - but remember to take advantage of special activities such as park days, picnics, vacations, swimming and more by finding unique topics to talk about and learn from. Younger children will benefit from novel experiences and hearing new language modeled for them during play. Older children might enjoy finding things outside that have their target sounds in the name and making up silly sentences about them. Have fun with it!
4. Just five minutes! Without the weekly check-ins from your therapist, you may find yourself missing that structure. If you are able, make it a routine to practice your child’s speech therapy targets for just 5 minutes a day. The consistency will benefit you and your child by bringing some structure back with minimal pressure or commitment.
5. Most importantly, enjoy your break! A happy parent makes a happy child. Summer break is all about having fun and taking advantage of a natural change of pace. At the end of the day, do what feels right for you and your family
and trust your ability to know what that looks like. Happy summer!
-Lillian Hallett M.S., CCC-SLP