At-Home Speech Therapy Practice During Bedtime Story Routine
If your child is struggling with speech and language skills, incorporating speech therapy practice can be as easy as approaching your bedtime story routine with a bit more strategy and intention. It doesn’t have to take any more of your time, and you’ll be spending quality moments with your child too.
As our Cleveland pediatric speech therapy providers can explain, bedtime stories can be an excellent opportunity to work on speech therapy goals with their kids.
For one thing, kids diagnosed with conditions like Down syndrome, receptive language disorders, autism spectrum disorder, global developmental delays, and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder all tend to be really visual learners. All young kids are, but this is especially true for a lot of children with special needs. Snuggling up with a loving, engaged adult who is excitedly reading an easy-to-follow picture book can help solidify word and concept meanings much more effectively than simply using verbal communication. (It’s the reason you’ll see so many speech, occupational, and ABA therapy professionals using visual tools like social stories or visual schedules when we’re working with kids.)
Beyond this, research has established that kids retain much more language overall when they’re read stories as opposed to when they’re being simply talked to or with. For instance, one analysis by researchers with the University of California, Santa Cruz determined picture books published for kids contain THREE TIMES as many words that aren’t among the thousand or so that are commonly used in the average parent-child conversation. The more contextual vocabulary to which your child is exposed, the faster they’re going to absorb that information.
How to Use Bedtime Stories to Better Your Child’s Speech Skills
Bedtime story routine can be an excellent opportunity for parents to practice speech therapy with their children. Here are some tips for incorporating speech therapy into your child’s bedtime story routine:
- Choose books with repetitive language: Select books with repetitive language, such as “Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See?” or “Chicka Chicka Boom Boom.” This type of book can help your child practice sentence structures and improve their language skills.
- Encourage your child to participate: While reading the story, encourage your child to participate by asking them questions about the story. For example, you can ask them to identify characters, objects, or colors in the illustrations.
- Focus on specific sounds or words: If your child is struggling with a specific sound or word, you can focus on practicing that during the bedtime story routine. For example, if your child has difficulty with the “s” sound, you can point out words that contain that sound in the story.
- Use visual aids: You can use visual aids, such as flashcards or pictures, to help your child practice specific words or sounds. For example, if you are working on the “ch” sound, you can show your child a picture of a chair or a chicken.
- Make it fun: Make the bedtime story routine fun and engaging for your child by incorporating games or activities. For example, you can play a game where your child has to find all the objects that start with a certain letter in the story.
Remember that bedtime stories – like speech therapy – should be a positive and enjoyable experience for your child. By incorporating speech therapy practice into your child’s bedtime story routine, you can help them improve their language skills while spending quality time together.
Therapy & Wellness Connection – your connection to a life without limitations – provides speech therapy to children in Akron, Cleveland, Brecksville-Broadview Heights and surrounding communities. We also offer summer camp, day programs, education services, vocational counseling and more. Call us at (330) 748-4807 or send us an email.
More Blog Entries:
Consistency is Key: Why Regular Speech Therapy Attendance is So Critical to Your Child’s Success, April 14, 2023, Cleveland Pediatric Speech Therapy Blog