“I don’t want to!” When Children won’t do their Speech Home Programmes

Your child or a child you educate is hard to understand.

He or she may have a speech sound difficulty and you want to help.

You have made a start by isolating this area of your child’s development for specific attention as you know that speech that is easily understood can help your child interact successfully and positively with others, make friends and reduce frustration.

If you are still unsure if ‘speech’ is the area of communication development that your child needs assistance in, then read one of our previous blogposts on the topic here  https://learn2communicate.com.au/my-child-is-difficult-to-understand/

You have decided on some sounds to get started with but…..

Your child or a child you educate is unable to imitate you when you model the sounds in words and encourage him or her to imitate you.

Your child refuses to do any home practice with you.

Your child struggles to focus, pay attention and fully engage when you attempt to practice at home.

You are struggling to find the time to do any home practice as have a busy schedule as a parent/carer or early childhood educator.

Let’s tackle one of these challenges this week.  Here are some tried and tested tricks that I have found can help carers and educators make speech home programmes work!

Your child is unable to accurately imitate the sounds when you model them in words

Here are some tips to try:

  1.  Don’t request that your child imitates you.  Instead of working on encouraging your child to SAY the new, tricky sound in words…take the pressure off for a while and simply model the sound in words naturally as it occurs throughout the day in everyday routines. For example, if you child’s sound to learn is the /l/ sound, you can repeat and draw attention to words such as ‘like’ ‘love’ ‘little’ ‘lick’ ‘lolly’ ‘lots’ and ‘light’ throughout the day.
  2. Speak with your Speech Pathologist (if you have one) about starting with an easier sound for your child to get started. Sometimes we need to start with something really simple and very achievable for the child in order to build confidence and motivation.  If you are trying this at home or in an early childhood setting without a Speech Pathologist’s guidance; then this advice is even more important.  Go back to the information you have about the child and the sounds that are difficult for him or her to say.  Perhaps choose one of the earlier developing sounds to start on.  Success breeds confidence.  There is an entire chapter to help you do this in our FREE resource available here https://learn2communicate.com.au/product/identifying-speech-and-language-difficulties-a-practical-guide-for-early-childhood-educators/
  3. I love the analogy of helping a child learn to ride a 2-wheel pushbike.  Would we just show the child how to ride the bike and then expect them to be able to imitate this new complex motor task without any other help?  Of course not.  This is similar to when helping a child learn how to use a new speech sound in words.  At first your child is […]