Conventionally, speech therapy with children involved parents in bringing their kids to a clinic of an expert speech-language pathologist. And, after a detailed assessment, the moment the speech-language professional recommends it, the parent will bring his or her child for a regular speech therapy class. In this case, all the sessions are being conducted by a speech-language pathologist expert who would use different strategies and techniques in order to improve the communication of the child.
On the other hand, the parent would only sit as well as watch the therapy, either behind a two-way mirror or in the room. Right after the session of the speech therapy, the parent will then be given certain activities in order to practice with his or her child at home.
Changes to the Role of Speech-Language Pathologists and Parents
Over the past few years, the parents and speech-language pathologists’ roles have changed a lot. This is because parents are not just observers anymore during the therapy session. In fact, they are now a very important part of the intervention of their children. This transition of roles is often based upon the following instances:
- The child learns to communicate during daily conversations and activities with the most important people in their lives, most especially their parents.
- The parent have many opportunities to interact with his or her child in different meaningful situations everyday than a speech therapist can be able to do.
- The parent know his or her child best and is considered as the first teacher of the child.
As a matter of fact, the experts recognized parents nowadays as important players in the intervention of their child. There are actually programs that can help a lot during the process. The programs are primarily designed in order to help parents learn about how they should promote the communication of their young child at home. Under the guidance of an expert pathologist, parents can be able to learn a lot on how to use helpful language-building strategies with their children during the daily activities.
Furthermore, these strategies can be able to help the child a lot both in motivating him or her and improve her communication skills. There’s actually no any structured teaching involved since therapy happens whenever the child and parent are together. During the process, the child learns a lot while communicating about the things that are most important, familiar, and interesting to him or her. This way, speech therapy:
- Involves communication between parent and child, not therapist and child alone
- Is extended into the daily activities of the child through involving play and other activities like bed time, bath time and meal time – these are meaningful and familiar to the child
- Can happen on a continuous basis in the comfortable surroundings of the child
- Is a fun and motivating process for the child
The moment the speech pathologists or therapists teach parents helpful language strategies, the parents can then be able to use it whenever they have the opportunity to have daily activities with their child.