Pediatric Speech Therapy: Why Parent Involvement is Key
They say it takes a village to raise a child. The same principle applies when it comes to pediatric speech therapy. Our Akron speech therapists are committed to working with your child through thick and thin, and we won’t give up when it gets hard.
That said, study after study has shown optimal outcomes when parents and speech-language pathologists work together to help practice skills in as many environments and with as much consistency as possible to improve carryover. In one recent analysis published last year in the International Journal of Language & Communication Disorder, collaboration with parents was found to be a common theme among kids who made greater strides.
It’s estimated approximately 1 in 12 kids have a disorder related to speech, voice, language or swallowing. Pediatric speech therapy can help kids make enormous progress. Sometimes in the end, you would never know the child received speech therapy. But involving parents can accelerate the process and make the experience easier for the child.
Here, our Akron pediatric speech therapy explain some of the key benefits of therapists and parents being on the same page:
- Having a better understanding of the child. You know your child better than anyone. You understand his personality. We can evaluate how different scenarios or things might frustrate or motivate your child, but families are who really provides the most valuable insight for speech therapists. This is information we can use to generate a plan of care that is going to be the most effective. When therapy is over, parents can help by continuing to practice at home. The more time kids get to spend practicing on skills, the faster they’re going to pick it up.
- Parents as teachers. Parent-child conversations have a huge impact on the child’s language development. Family members or caregivers inevitably influence a child’s language development. Parents can help with so many aspects of speech therapy simply by talking to and engaging with their kids.
- Encouraging engagement and lots of practice. We want to see parents integrating practice on vocabulary, speech, understanding, etc. in their daily routine. Sometimes it’s repeating words or phrases while in line in the store or on the way to school or after soccer practice. Our Akron speech therapists are creative and always searching for ways to mix it up, but parents have a lot more freedom to be spontaneous. That may help a child stay more engaged.
- Parental confidence. The most effective pediatric speech therapy is a program that empowers parents to understand the strategies and be part of the process. Parents can be as effective as therapists when it comes to things like speech correction – but they have to have the tools and the confidence to do it. This is why our speech therapists make parental collaboration such an important part of the process.
- Top quality feedback. You are with your child more than anyone. You can provide insights we may miss only seeing them from an hour or so a day. Plus, it can be easier when facing struggles with your child to speak to a professional who can provide helpful insight rather than friends or family members.
- Presenting a United Front. When parents and therapists are on the same team, it’s the child who benefits the most.
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.
Collaboration between parents and SLTs produces optimal outcomes for children attending speech and language therapy: Gathering the evidence, May 2020, International Journal of Language & Communication Disorder
More Blog Entries:
How a Cleveland Speech Therapist Can Help Your Child With Dyslexia, Feb. 15, 2020, Akron Pediatric Speech Therapy Blog