Parent involvement is essential in the growth of a child’s speech-language skills. A speech-language pathologist (SLP) is trained and certified to treat a variety of speech-language disorders and weekly speech sessions are important in the progress a child makes. To optimize growth and progress, parent involvement is crucial in a child’s treatment plan.
According to an article from the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA), some ways to involve parents more in therapy are:
- Involve parents in sessions
- The amount of time and timing is different for each child and family based on various factors. For instance, for some families, it is hard for parents to be actively involved in sessions due to caring for other children during sessions.
- Parents may be present during the entire session with parent training/education throughout the session. Some parents may prefer to be involved in the beginning and/or end of the session.
- Sometimes it is best to discuss goal targets and session progress at the end of the session with parent(s) and provide home program activities.
- Start sessions with open communication
- Ask if they have noticed anything new at home (e.g., new sounds, words, signs, play skills, etc.)
- Ask if any changes or events coming up (e.g., vacations, new babysitter, etc.)
- Ask caregivers for a list of books/toys/activities the child enjoys
- This can help with transitions to the therapy rooms and assimilate into routines
- These preferred activities/toys can be used as motivators throughout the session
- Ask caregivers when they have time at home for communication opportunities/activities
- Knowing what time works best for a family is helpful when providing home program activities
- For instance, some families will practice speech activities during bath time, meal time, mornings, etc.
- Involve the whole family
- Encourage parents to let older siblings be apart of the session. Siblings can be great models and can help facilitate language at home