Speech and language therapy can help people deal with a wide range of issues, from well-known problems such as stuttering, to slightly more obscure conditions such as apraxia or dysarthria.
Whatever the case may be, a common stumbling block for many patients is taking what they learn in therapy, and applying it out in the real world. But the ultimate goal for all forms of therapy is to improve the quality of life for the patient in their day-to-day activities, so below, we’ve listed some of the best ways you can work SLT practices into your daily routine.
Regardless of the issue at hand, two of the most important steps are practice and repetition. A great way to put the techniques you learn in therapy into use in everyday life is to start with topics of conversation that come up every day. The weather is a perfect example of one such topic of conversation. It may not be the most fascinating of subjects, but it does involve a wide range of vocabulary, and comes up frequently in conversations with different people all day long. Therefore, practicing discussing the weather every morning can help people practice any breathing, timing, muscle techniques etc, and build up their confidence for discussing it later on.
If it is your child who is undergoing the therapy, breakfast is another way to get some practice in first thing. Again, there is a wide range of vocabulary that can be put into use, not just in terms of food, but also in objects (spoons, bowls, mugs, glasses), verbs (fetch, pour, spread), adjectives (hungry, tasty, crunchy) and so on. One trick used by some parents is to make a mistake with their child’s breakfast, such as giving them a fork instead of a spoon, or the wrong type of cereal. Many children will have no problem speaking up to let their parents know they have messed up! Finally, breakfast is an opportunity to talk about the day ahead, which not only gets the child talking then, but again prepares them for topics that are likely to come up later on, and keeps those topics fresh in their minds.
During the day, or at bedtime, fill-in-the-blank story books can be a very effective way to keep children engaged, and encourage them to use words they are comfortable with. Bedtime is also another opportunity to use a wide range of common vocabulary, follow instructions, and recount their day.
There can often be a stark contrast between the speech patterns of a person when they are in therapy versus when they are in the real world. Therapy can sometimes become too comfortable and safe an environment, and it is only when the nerves kick in that people really begin to struggle. Practicing some of the most common topics of conversation is a great way to put your techniques into use, build up confidence levels, and segue from the therapist’s office into any real-world environment.