Beginning Stages of Speech Therapy

Hi there! I am currently a second year distance student in the speech-language pathology program at Stephen F. Austin State University. Along with this, I have been an SLP-Assistant for 3 years now. I currently work with 3 children who stutter, all at different levels in their speech. I want to improve myself and my therapy so that I can give these children all that I can to help them succeed with their speech; however sometimes I feel lost. My youngest child of the three is the one that I struggle the most with, in terms of speech therapy. We have gone through the anatomy of speech, and now working through techniques to use with speech, but the child only relates the techniques with their speech in the activities that we do in speech. In other terms, they do not generalize these techniques in other activities or when they have a moment of stuttering.

My question is, what are some different ways to approach these easy speech techniques so that the child will carry them over and not just use in the activity when prompted to use them?

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Beginning Stages of Speech Therapy — 1 Comment

  1. Hey Mitchella!
    I really appreciate the efforts you’re taking for these children and I’m sure they’re doing great.
    How old is this child? I ask this because even children as young as 8 can actually tell you what it is that’s making it difficult for them to generalize, or creating an obstacle to their progress, and you’d be amazed at their clarity of thought! So that can be a good lead for you to decide how to proceed.

    Sometimes what we perceive as the obvious next step in therapy might be too big a step for the CWS. So breaking it down into even smaller steps could help. For instance, the child telling a short story, then a short story followed by a fun Q and A session, a short story followed by a competitive quiz, a short story followed by a competitive quiz and two new people in the session… and so on.

    Preparing the child (in detail, including how the scene would look like, what conversations might arise, how many people… Etc) and reminding them to use their easy speech techniques before they enter a speech situation, immediate feedback and a proportionate reinforcement right after, might help as well.

    Finally, I have to add (though I’m sure you must have it covered already) that the importance of openly communicating with the child about their thoughts and feelings arising out of different speech (and non speech) situations cannot be understated. The child you mention seems to be very aware of his stuttering exploring how he felt before, during and after a difficult speaking situation, establishing throughout that it’s absolutely ok to stutter, focusing on the goal (buying groceries – and not speaking perfectly to the man across the counter) are things that should be an integral part of sessions, as well as conversations at home.

    That was a really long answer, but hope it helps!