The Importance of Home Practice - Step Forward Therapy
Arlington Heights Speech Pathology, Occupational Therapy, Group Therapy and Pre-School
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The Importance of Home Practice

Child grabbing crayons

The Importance of Home Practice

Parents play an essential role in their child’s progress towards their speech, language, and feeding goals. Just like learning to walk, run, ride a bike, kick a ball or wash their hands, children need many repetitions to be able to master that task.

Message to our parents: Therapist’s try to target as much as we can throughout our sessions, however, our time is very limited at the clinic. This is why we need your help to target their goals at home as well! This will help your child learn new skills faster and in different environments. It’s currently a challenging and overwhelming time for you, regardless of the situation your family may be in during this pandemic (unemployed, working from home, going to work while your kids are at home, helping with zoom classes, etc). With that being said, Your therapists’ want to do what they can to help you while still meeting your child’s needs. If we are assigning too much “homework” that is unrealistic to be able to complete at home, it is OKAY to tell us. If there is something that you’re experiencing at home that you would like us to target in therapy, let us know. Message to our therapists: To the therapists who are reading this post, remember that these families have a lot going on at home! Try to assign “homework” that is functional, which in turn, helps generalize skills into new environments. Send home visuals that you are utilizing in the clinic so parents can use them at home as well. Finally, be creative and make the activities fun!

Below is a brief list of activities that can be completed at home:

  • Following directions using activities of daily living (i.e. “Put your toys away, then wash your hands before we eat dinner.”)
  • Asking wh- questions during movies, TV shows, or reading
  • Target your goals using songs
  • Target your goals during meal time or transition periods
  • Have a magic bag/treasure chest; your child can choose something out of the bag each night. You can target labeling, expanding utterances, describing, categorizing, speech sounds, etc.
  • Practice turn-taking and other social skills during board games
  • If your child is learning to use an AAC device at the clinic, use the device at home as well
  • Complete oral motor exercises (i.e. tongue strengthening exercises) by look in the mirror together and make silly faces together
  • Play with food that you’d like to introduce to your child’s diet (i.e. feeding real food to toy dinosaurs
  • or babies, paint with the food, build things, make faces, etc.)
  • Target your goals by baking/cooking together
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