Speech Therapy - Akron,OH

Updated on February 28, 2009
J.K. asks from Cuyahoga Falls, OH
20 answers

Hello all moms! I have a 2 yr old boy that has just started speech therapy. Our therapist is great and I feel that our son will make progress the more sessions we attend. My question is, does anyone have any knowledge in this field that could give me some extra tips to work on at home with him? Or maybe some resources that my husband and I could use to stimulate his speech further? We want to help him as much as possible. He is currently attending sessions once a week. Thanks in advance!

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S.K.

answers from South Bend on

My youngest is almost 2 (in May) and he just started also last week. The only words he says are dad.. and mamamama. They have only had like 1 session but they recommended trying an electric toothbrush to "wake" things up in there, they said rough housing play, they said playdoh (?) and they recommended beginning to use sign language they said for some reason the sign associated with the word seems to get them to remember and speak it.. I don't know how but thats what they told me. We are going thru 1st steps

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L.T.

answers from Cincinnati on

Hi Jen,

My 3 1/2 year old son started speech therapy at 15 months and is continuing it in school now. What I found helpful was to name EVERYTHING and to talk about what you're doing as you do it. Cooking, cleaning, washing clothes, etc. I know it sounds crazy, but say "Hi" to inanimate objects. That will teach him that everything has a name and if he knows one word, it will help him build his vocabulary by tacking on another that he's not so familiar with. For example: He may say "It's a ball" and you would say "Yes, its a RED ball"

Storytime is also a lifesaver. I recommend "Goodnight Moon" by Margaret Wise Brown. The words are simple and afterward he can say goodnight to things in his room.

Hope this helps.

L.

1 mom found this helpful

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M.R.

answers from Cincinnati on

I am not a speech therapist, but I have a son who has been receiving speech therapy for 6 months (he's now nearly 2). I can share with you things that his therapist and I have done that have helped.

I want to praise you for your willingness to support and supplement what the speech therapist is doing. Of course, as a former teacher you understand the great need to work as a team member to the benefit of your son. Your son will be better off because of your hard work and involvement, so kudos to you!

Ask the therapist for homework! We did that from session one. We also had as many sessions as we could at home (both my husband and I work full-time, so often she had to hold the sessions at his daycare), so we could observe the things she was doing with him. She would tell us words to practice, things to do, etc.

Label things - not with words, but by naming objects as you hand them to him. At meal times "cup" when you hand him the cup, "spoon" when you hand him the spoon, "puppy" when you hand him the stuffed puppy. If he makes any sound remotely close to the actual word, praise him and repeat it. Talk, talk, talk to him and keep labeling things (articles of clothing "pants. we're now putting on your pants." body parts "nose. where's your nose? there's your nose!" food "cookie. yummy yummy cookie.")

Start making him ask for things. This is a technique therapists call 'sabotage'; you have the cup of milk or the cookie ready. In order for him to get it, he has to either say "more" or sign it (tap fingers together). The food becomes a motivation for him to speak. Of course, this technique shouldn't be used when he's really, really hungry nor should he have to 'ask' for his food all the time. We would give him a few bites of food, then we would role play. Daddy would start making 'unh unh unh' sounds to indicate that he wanted a teddy graham and I would look at him and say "more?" and he would either sign/say the work 'more'. When he did it, I gave him the teddy graham. Our son was tapping his fingers and saying 'more' almost right away!

Animals - if you have flashcards or puzzles or books of animals, name the animals and give them a sound "puppy - woof woof" "cow - moo". Start only with a few at a time, and then show the picture and say "where's the puppy?" or "what does the puppy say?".

I have many more tips, tricks, and homework assignments that we had. I'll try to think of them and add more! Good luck to you!

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P.N.

answers from Cincinnati on

My son was in speech therapy when he was 2. Our therapist gave us sheets with similar words and pictures. For example, one sheet would have 12 simple words starting with "p". She suggested offering a marshmellow or M&M once he said the word correctly, so it made it into a fun game. We did 1-2 sheets every evening after dinner.

She also had us exaggerate the sounds he needed to make, including hand motions for the sounds. Like, for the long "e", we would bare our teeth and move our hand in a line. (Sorry, I can't explain it very well.)

Hopefully, your speech therapist could demonstrate if that sort of training would be helpful for your son.

We were alos told not to give into the grunting or pointing. He had to name what he wanted. So, if he pointed and grunted at the cookie shelf, we'd ask if he wanted a cookie. If he nodded, then we'd prompt him to say the word.

Good luck!
P.

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K.P.

answers from Toledo on

Hi Jen,

The speech therapist should be able to give you suggestions to help your son at home. Ask her the next time he goes in.

Children with speech delays should always have their hearing checked, as this may be the reason they don't talk well. I suggest contacting your local Health Department, they may know of low cost or free clinics for hearing tests.

The Health Department can also direct you, or perhaps the speech therapist to programs that can help you with his delays. One program is the Early Intervention Program. It's run differently in each area, but the basic idea is the same. They work with kids & their families until they turn 3. They will provide information, direction & support in helping him with his delay. The great thing about this is that it is all free to you (at least in Ohio)!

They will also give you options available for him when he turns 3. They will help you prepare for the next step which is usually preschool. Depending on how he responds to the therapy he may be eligible for the local school system preschool.

Call ASAP as the EI program can only work with you until he turns 3 years old.

I wish you the best & I hope he responds well to his therapy!!!!

K.

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A.P.

answers from Cleveland on

I read through all the replies and did not see this mentioned. Our son was in speech therapy at 2 1/2 years of age. There was improvement, but slow. One day we were at a friends house, she noticed maybe he wasn't hearing very well. We had him tested, and sure enough, everything he was hearing was like he under water. He had tubes put in and within less than 6 months he was completely caught up, and the school kicked him out! :-) But the therapists didnt even pick up on that, it was afriend. Just something to think about...Best of luck, God Bless

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J.C.

answers from Fort Wayne on

Get a very simple book that goes through each letter of the alphabet and has one word and picture per letter. Then, when you're going through it, point to the picture and say the word for it really clearly. After a few times, start asking him in an exciting voice "What is that???" Also, just talk to him a lot. It's hard when you have two who are both so young, but even if while you're doing things with the baby, you could say things like "Diaper, these are wet wipes. Mommy's changing the baby's diaper." Sit down when you are ready to change the diaper and say "Can you get mommy a diaper?" Just basically teach him the names of things. Get a coloring book out and ask him to give you the colors of crayons you want to use one at a time. It's the little things that really make a big difference.

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A.J.

answers from Cleveland on

Hi Jen,
My 4yr old son is in speech therapy also. I am not a therapist, nor do I have any professional knowledge in this field. One simple thing that I can recommend, and you may already be doing this, is to sit in on the sessions with him. I was originally staying out of the room during my son's sessions because I believed that I might be a distraction to him. Well, just the opposite has happened. He has been doing fine with me in the room, and I am learning how to reinforce his therapist's training by repeating and imitating her at home. He has been doing so well because he is getting the professional time with her and I am continuing the learning at home on a daily non-clinical basis. Good luck!
A.

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C.B.

answers from Lafayette on

my son was 5 when he started speech therapy in school. his therapist said when he is home, to find a quiet time in the day to sit down with him and practice words like "feel, love, shoe, fry, shop" she said most kids have some trouble with words containing the letters r,l,v,& f. she said to sit in front of him so he can see my mouth(tongue, teeth, lips) and speek the words slowly so he can mimmick my movements with his own mouth. she said that 20-30 min. sessions a day is a strong start and will help him remember better. good luck.

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K.V.

answers from Columbus on

Jen,

I am a speech therapist working with preschool children. Someone suggested going into the session with your son and I would check with the therapist. Some kids this is really helpful and others it makes it harder. There is definitely a huge benefit of seeing the interactions modeled for you so that you can do the same at home. Typically at this age, therapy revolves around play. It may seem the therapist is just playing but they are being strategic in their interactions...such as expanding language and introducing new vocabulary, encouraging imitation, modeling correct production of sounds, etc. You can see how to do these things in a natural way that you can do at home throughout the day. I'm sure your therapist would have many resources such as something called "Parent Articles" that explain various communication problems in an easy to understand way as well as suggestions for improving the areas at home. I'm sure she/he will be more than happy to give you ideas and written materials.

The best thing, in my opinion, you can do at this young age is to read books. Feel free to deviate from the words (if they'll let you) and just talk about the pictures and what's happening. If your child doesn't like looking at books, try to bring them alive by actually making the book active. If a rabbit is hopping, have him "hop" across the page with his fingers or even get up and hop around the room. Repetitive songs and fingerplays are great also. You may want to slow them down, though. The American Speech and Hearing Association has some milestones and suggestions.

http://www.asha.org/public/speech/development/chart.htm
(found at www.asha.org under "the public" at the top)

Look at the birth-1 link then the 1-2 year link. Keep in mind that the 1-2 link goes up to 2 and there is massive growth during that year. Each page lists suggestions that you can do at home to stimulate speech and language growth.

Have fun with therapy and your interactions/teaching. His job at this age is learn through play. Feel free to contact me if you are unable to get more resources or materials. I could scan and email some of the parent articles.

K.

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M.M.

answers from Cleveland on

My son is also in speech therapy. He has been going once a week since September. He had a language explosion about 4 weeks after starting him on Nordic Naturals Omega 3-6-9 oil. Was it just his time to start talking or did the oil have an affect? We will never know but the Omega fish oil certainly isn't hurting him. He is still in therapy and will continue until they say he is caught up. You might want to check out the Yahoo group childrensapraxianet.

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M.R.

answers from Columbus on

Jen,

Maybe because he has just started, your therapist has not giving you the dreaded homework yet! Homework is an essential part of most therapy and you should be asked to work on specific tasks all week to reinforce what he does in therapy. What he is being treated for will play a big part of how you help him, if he has a receptive delay and an expressive delay, you will need to do different things than if he only has an expressive delay. If his problem is articulation or oral motor, you will need to do still other exercises at home. Ask your therapist what to work on with him, she will be thrilled that you are willing and eager to do the homework!

M.

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S.B.

answers from Columbus on

Hello,
My son has been in speech therapy since he was 3 years old and he is now 7 years old. Our speech therapist always gave us things to work on if we asked. They work on some of the same things each week until the child shows progress. Working on some of the same things at home can help a lot. So.. my suggesting is... instead of overwhelming him with multiple tasks, ask the therapist to give you 1 or 2 things that she is working on and mimic the same things at home. I think you'll see your son's speech will improve and the therapist will have less make up/repeat work to do since they only see him once a week!

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J.N.

answers from Indianapolis on

Hi! I am a music teacher (20 years) with specialties in early childhood ed and special ed. I will soon be working toward an SLP degree and teaching of reading cert. I have had great success with stimulating my students speech and reading skills with music and singing. If you would want to chat more about that please contact me.

[email protected]____.com

I am a Work From Home Mom of 5: 13yo DD, 11yo DD, 10yo Bonus Son, 2yo DS, 9mos DS. Have 20 years experience with music, children, and teaching. Have worked as nanny, preschool teacher, and music teacher for all ages, including in nursing homes! :-)

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C.B.

answers from Dayton on

I'm not sure if anyone else mentioned this but the simplest thing that is often overlooked is to talk, talk, talk and talk some more. Talk to the child, talk to your hubby, talk to your friends, just talk. Kids pick up on an awful lot by emulating us. Good luck!

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A.M.

answers from Indianapolis on

Hi Jen,

I have had my little boy that is about to be 4 next month in speech therapy since he was 2. I believe that you are having First Steps help him? The best advice I can give is to relax and do not put pressure on him to learn right away. I found that once I was able to do this, is when he made the most progress. Of course you will need to still work with him during the week. However, stick with what the therapist is doing and do not add any extra. It is a time for you to take a step back a little and let someone else help your son learn. You are there just to support and keep encouraging and back up the speech therapist.

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E.W.

answers from Cleveland on

My son started therapy at 3 and the therapists would give me copies of what she was working on with him to reinforce at home. SO we would practice those sheets. Reading out loud is great and encouraging him to repeat what you are saying. Reading the Dr suess books out loud can be a lot of fun. They are silly and there is a lot of rhyming. Listening to books on tape is great too. Singing children's songs. There is lot of fun things you can do. And always encourage him to use words to communicate. My 10 year old still gets into the habit of wanting to drag us places instead of using his words to communicate. SO we tell him we won't go with him until he explains what he wants us to do. SO encouraging him now will help you down the road too. I know some books encourage learning sign language and that that can also help the child process things better too. There are many books out there on categories of auditory processing disorder or language disorders. Your library should have the books or be able to tell you where you can get them.

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D.T.

answers from Indianapolis on

My son was in speech therapy from age 3 until the end of kindergarten (so 3 years total). He was twice a week and the 2nd time each week the therapist would give me a packet of papers that had various activities to do. Some were flashcards to cut out and practice with, some were short stories to read that emphasized the sounds currently being worked on, some involved scissors and glue - he liked those best. So just ask your therapist because most do this.

You should also look at the book "Teach Me to Say It Right". I can't think of the author right now. It focuses on a few specific speech disorders. My son had articulation issues and this book was perfect. It goes through the reasons why it happens and gives very specific exercises to do to help at home. Like blowing bubbles to practice the O shape of the mouth and chewing bubble gum (and blowing bubbles) to strengthen some muscles. It takes each of the common problem letters/sounds and gives a few dozen activities for each one to improve it. If your son has other issues it may be useless for you so look it over before purchasing.

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K.S.

answers from Cincinnati on

Your speech therapist should be giving you home exercises related to what his speech delays/difficulties are.

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P.R.

answers from Indianapolis on

If the therapist didn't give you some simple exercises to work on during the week between sessions I would ask why. At two it is probably a lot more difficult to work with him than it was to work with my child who while he was talking had definite problems with certain sounds.

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