Being a teenager is tough enough with kids trying desperately to fit in and be accepted by their peers. But speech problems make life even more difficult. This post will focus on supporting teens in speech therapy and will offer suggestions for parents and teachers to try out.
Facing ridicule and fearing they’ll get laughed at results in low self-esteem and inability to make friends. As a parent, there are a few things you can to help and support your teen. Work with the speech-language therapist (SLP) to understand how you can supplement the lessons at home. Reduce your child’s nervousness and the stigma of adults going to speech therapy by signing them up for online speech therapy sessions that they can take from the safe environment of their home.
Practice Language Skills by Having Conversations at Home.
Every parent knows that engaging teens in conversation is next to impossible. But don’t stop trying. Encourage them to talk about their day’s activities over dinner. Try out some of these fun family activities to engaging with family members. Put away your cell phone, turn off the TV, and give them your complete attention. Ask questions but avoid the urge to tell your child what to do. And try not to be overprotective by reacting to the challenges they face. Just listen and be there.
Car rides to and from school and activities are other good times to have conversations. Talk about current events and discuss sports, politics, or any topic that interests your child. It’s the perfect way to develop a bigger vocabulary, improved pronunciation, and create a better understanding of word usage.
Find the Time to Help with Schoolwork.
Teenagers dealing with speech and language issues often struggle with academics and fall behind in class. They may have trouble making sense of what is being taught in class and have difficulty understanding the teacher’s instructions. Incorrect homework assignments and falling grades are only a few of the signs that your child has trouble with language skills.
Find the time to help with lessons at home by reading the material with them, preferably before it is taught in class. Go over assignments and discuss the instructions in detail before your child starts working on them. You can support teens in speech therapy at home or anywhere!
Study with your teen and you’ll definitely learn some new things too. Homework can become fun if you’re quizzing each other, working as a team or indulging in some friendly competition. There are apps and tools to support your joint studies too. Challenge each other and see whether parent or child can achieve the best score on an AP world history practice test.
Understand the Reasons for Speech Issues.
Speech issues such as stuttering are a huge challenge for many kids. Educate yourself about what causes stuttering and have your child checked for possible brain abnormalities that may cause the condition. You will be better equipped to get the right treatment. Often, genetics or environmental factors could also be the causes. For instance, significant life changes like moving to an unfamiliar place, a new school, parents divorcing or separating, a new sibling, or the death of a close family member can be factors to consider.
Support Your Teen in Speech Therapy.
Encourage your child to talk about their fears, insecurities, and feelings. Consult an experienced SLP and explore the treatment options. Chances are that counseling helps in correcting the problem.
For some kids, speech therapy needs to be combined with other treatments. This could include medical or behavioral healthcare. Cognitive behavioral therapy and speech therapy can be a powerful combination, and both types of therapists will know how to support each other’s efforts.
Follow Your Speech Therapist’s Recommendations.
Keep in mind that speech therapy is a partnership with parents and therapists working together to resolve issues. Here are a few tips from speech therapists:
- Allow your child to do therapy activities at their pace and balance them with academics.
- Teach responsibility and let the child show up for therapy sessions on schedule without prompting.
- Break up goals into smaller achievable components and celebrate every milestone.
- Offer small gifts like pizza from their favorite takeout or ice cream to reward progress and effort.
Teenagers are painfully conscious of their own speech and language issues and they need all the support you can offer. Reaching out and getting through to a sullen teen is tough, but it is critical to keep working on them. Even if they don’t show their appreciation now, your teen feels the love that you offer. There are many ways to help teens in speech therapy at home or other environments. What other suggestions would you add? Share them in the comments below!
Other posts from Exceptional Thinkers that you may like:
- Everything You Need to Teach Online
- 30 Fun Brain Break Activities
- How to Differentiate Instruction
- Fun Family Activities
Keep teaching. Keep learning.
~Christy from Exceptional Thinkers
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