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Speech Therapy Practice at Home: 5 Strategies to Make it Work

Boy brushing teeth in bathroom mirror using red toothbrush
Incorporate practice into daily routines.

Mastering a new skill, whether it's learning to play an instrument, mastering a new sport, or acquiring a new language, requires dedication, consistency, and, most importantly, practice. Just as you wouldn't expect to become an expert driver overnight without practising how to maneuver a car, developing speech and language skills demands regular and deliberate practice. The journey from conscious effort to effortless communication mirrors the transformation we experience from our first driving lesson to navigating roads with ease.

For individuals and families navigating the journey of speech therapy, here are five transformative tips to make speech practice at home not just a routine, but a rewarding part of your daily life:

1. Plan for Speech Therapy Practice

Speech practice won't magically find a place in your busy schedule; it needs to be intentionally planned. Identifying the best time for practice and linking it to daily activities can create a seamless routine. Whether it's a quick session in front of the bathroom mirror before brushing teeth or integrating vocabulary drills into bathtime, the key is consistency. Embedding practice into daily routines not only makes it more manageable but also enhances the quality of practice by making it a predictable part of the day.

2. Share the Load

Involvement from the entire family can significantly enrich the practice experience. Sharing specific exercises or techniques recommended by your speech pathologist with partners, family members, or even friends allows for varied interactions and can introduce new dynamics that might be particularly engaging for the child. This collective approach not only diversifies the practice but can also reveal new strategies or approaches that are especially effective.

3. Prepare for Practice

Setting the stage for successful practice is crucial. Choose a quiet, distraction-free area that signals to your child that it's time to focus. Clear communication about what the session will involve and its duration helps manage expectations. Using a timer can also help maintain a structured approach, especially for those who may be less inclined to participate. Remember, even brief daily sessions can lead to significant improvements over time.

4. Set Rewards

Personalised rewards can significantly boost motivation. Whether it's stickers for younger children or privileges like extra playtime or a special meal for older ones, rewards should be directly linked to effort and achievement in speech practice. Establish a clear and consistent reward system, emphasising positive reinforcement rather than penalties. Celebrate progress, no matter how small, to build confidence and encourage continued effort.

5. Use a Speech Coach

Sometimes you just won’t get the practice done. We understand. Instead of letting your practice slide and waiting for your next appointment, why not book an appointment with one of our speech coaches?

Speech Coaches are our special Allied Health Assistants who can help you get your speech practice done at home. Appointments are only 20 minutes, and they are done online. Your coach will use the same programme and materials your speech pathologist has given you, and take you through your practice exercises. All you need is a device (tablet, phone or computer) connected to the internet and you can do your practice anywhere! 

Effective speech practice at home is a blend of planning, collaboration, preparation, motivation, and professional support. Integrating these five tips into your routine can make the journey towards improved speech and language skills a more engaging, rewarding, and successful experience for everyone involved.

At Newcastle Speech Pathology we are passionate about helping adults and children develop their speech and language skills because clear communication unlocks opportunities. We're here to help. Reach out if you require extra support to reach your communication goals.


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