Continuing Speech Therapy at Home with Verbal Interactions

Continuing Speech Therapy at Home with Verbal Interactions

When a child receives special services, such as speech therapy, it’s crucial for the parents or caregivers to continue to provide support at home. The speech therapist only interacts with the child for a few hours a week, so progress depends on continued support at home. This support will look different depending on the child’s age in this article, we’re going to focus on supporting speech and language therapy at home for toddlers. Direct verbal interactions with your child will have a significant impact on their language development and communication skills.


The best way to support speech therapy at home is to talk to your child. Let’s take a look at the impact that can make.


Direct Engagement and Vocabulary Building

There are been many studies examining how children learn new words. One study in 2013 from researchers at Stanford University examined the correlation between how many words a child heard in a day and how many words they learned. The study looked at 29 children who were 19 months old and counted how many words they heard per day until they were 24 months old. They found that the more words a child heard in a day, the larger their vocabulary was when they reached age two. However, they also learned that just hearing words was not enough. Toddlers did not pick up “overheard speech,” such as background conversations or noise from the TV. At this age, children require direct verbal interaction with adults to build their vocabulary.


Back-and-Forth Conversation

It’s important to draw the distinction between talking to your child and talking at your child. Just as you wouldn’t have a one-sided conversation with another adult, you need to let your child “contribute to the conversation.” Even if your child cannont yet form complete sentences, you should still pause to let them speak back to you. Engage with your child and show interest in what they are communicating so they learn how to carry a conversation. Use full, grammatically correct sentences to teach them how to communicate clearly as they pick up new words.


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Speech Therapy Services at Watch Me Shine

At Watch Me Shine, we understand that every child has unique needs. We have programs to help children of all abilities reach their full potential. Our therapists and childcare professionals work with children and families to craft individualized programs that meet children where they are and give them the support they need.


Contact us at (207) 990-0162 for more information about speech therapy or other programs and services for your child.

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