As speech and language pathologists, we all know that speech therapy homework is important because it facilitates generalization and expedites progress; however, it only does so when speech therapists assign it to students and their parents at the right time.Goals of speech homework
Properly assigned speech homework allows students to practice previously mastered skills. Speech homework should reinforce skills learned in therapy sessions. The goal of the speech homework should be for the student to maintain proficiency of already mastered skills and for speech sounds to become automatic. Students who continue to struggle with their speech sounds in therapy should not be given speech homework just yet.What speech homework should not be
Speech homework should not teach students new skills or require a parent to take the role of a speech therapist and try different tricks by experimenting with shaping techniques or cues. Parents should always seek professional help before trying to correct articulation problems on their own. The Internet and various apps offer a great selection of speech worksheets and activities that might be very tempting for parents to try on their own before speech consultation, but taking advantage of these resources prematurely and without consultation can have a negative effect on the child’s articulation.Effects of poorly assigned speech homework
Poorly assigned speech homework might lead to little change in articulation of sounds or regression. Poorly assigned homework also reinforces negative motor habits. Children who experiment at home usually practice an incorrect motor plan that can increase in use if the child spends time practicing bad habits.
Although speech homework is critical in a child’s making progress in speech therapy, it should be assigned properly and by professionals only.
Beata Klarowska, M.S. CCC-SLP
Virtual Speech Center Inc.
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