Ahhh yes, this is such a frequently expressed comment from parents that we hear week in and week out at Learn2Communicate.  Sadly, the mere mention of a home programme can result in many parents either groaning or running for the hills!

In addition to ensuring that children are fed, cleaned and watered, we now have so many drop offs and pick ups…not to mention homework.  Being presented with a lovely looking home programme by your child’s speech pathologist that is required to be worked through at least 3 times / week is usually the last thing that parents want to have added to their already hectic schedules.  And let’s face it, many children are also unimpressed…particularly when the novelty of stickers and being told “good boy / girl” wears off.

Let me introduce to you our trusty friend ‘The Abacus’.  We recommend that you make the abacus your friend too.  We now know that 100 productions of your child’s target sound 3 times/week is what it takes to make a change.

In order to change mapping and execution of any motor programme, including speech, you need to do lots of repeated practice.  Sorry, but there is simply no other way around it.

The abacus has 10 rows of 10 beads.  The last time I checked, 10 x 10 = 100.  Great!  Simply choose 10 picture cards that elicit your child’s target sound.  Find your own or print off some from Caroline Bowen’s amazing website.

Place the cards face down on the floor or table. You child selects a card and says the word 10 times accurately to slide 10 beads across the abacus.  Now, move on to the next card.  Remember to provide your child with appropriate feedback as directed by your child’s speech pathologist or get in touch with us for more ideas and suggestions.  Better still, download our freely available Learn2Communicate speech home programmes for tips and tricks to elicit speech sounds.

Once all beads have been slid across each row, your child will have achieved 100 productions of his or her target sound.  Hey Presto!  Speech pathology home practice done and dusted for the day.

We have seen so many children move from outrightly refusing to do practice at home with mum and dad to completely turning it around using this idea for home practice.

We love the videos that are now sent to us by amazed and relieved parents and proud children who are now engaging in the regular speech therapy home practice that they so very much need.  This is such a simple idea and requires virtually no preparation, set up time, imagination and creativity for busy parents.

Get yourself down to your closest department store and grab yourself an abacus today!