I love the kids I work with and am privileged to be able to deliver my services in their homes. Since I work in their environment, they are relaxed, and I can see what they like from their books and toys. Mom or Dad are getting trained as therapists to carry on what I am teaching their child too.
I always give “homework” for practice whether it’s practicing words or sentences with sounds in them or playing with toys or games to elicit certain language structures. I can tell when kids practice between our sessions.
Yesterday I had an unexpected delight when I went to Sam’s house. Sam is full of surprises–a bright inquisitive little guy, he keeps me hopping, playing his games of charades or Clue as we practice his sounds. Each time I see eight year-old Sam, he has made more progress in my absence. At the end of our session he produced a large chart that was entitled, “R words that Sherry forgot!” and he listed many “r” words that weren’t on my practice list for him. He knew his own list by heart. This is a therapist’s dream–a child who is motivated to practice and improve.
Teaching a child to make a sound the correct way takes time and practice. Never correct your child but encourage him by saying the sound correctly in your own speech, emphasizing the sound. Use great books to reinforce the sounds that they are working on. Ruby the Copycat is filled with “r” sounds and The Great Fuzz Frenzy has more “f” sounds than you can imagine. Read The Pout-Pout Fish for a lively time with “p.” As you read, emphasize the sound that your child is learning. Pause and give them time to chime in for practice.
Try to find fun ways to motivate your child so she see her progress too.