Summer Support

Summer vacation is a chance to change communication habits and improve fluency. In the summer, you probably have more influence over the pace of life and content of your child’s day. The many stressors associated with school are replaced with days of sleeping in, reduced time pressures, fewer interruptions, greater control over diet, and more parent-child fun time. Let’s talk about that parent-child fun time. I encourage you to plan for moments of “down-time” so that you can talk with one another in fluency enhancing ways. Children often look forward to this special time, especially on the days when chaos overrides our best intentions.

“Down time” is can be an opportunity for reviewing speech therapy lessons. My lesson plans are often variations on games you can buy at the toy store, material from children’s magazines, arts and crafts, and home-made “let’s make up a game” activities that mix-and-match game boards, playing cards, and pieces from different games. This is so that parents can experience this process and take it home with them. If you understand the basic philosophy of treatment for stuttering, you can take a familiar family game and modify the rules: slow it down (remove the timer), make it cooperative to reduce the stress of competition (eliminate the rule that says “The first one to….wins”), and add your own content by drawing your own game board, playing cards, or score card. Enforce turn-taking and allow silence for thinking.

If you would like to purchase activities to foster language skills, you can shop the catalogues used by speech-language pathologists. I encourage my students to buy Easy Does It for Fluency: Intermediate by LinguiSystems .It is easy to read and includes a variety of attractive activities. I recently received copy write permission from LinguiSystems to use this workbook to record a practice CD or DVD for my students who also own the book.

LinguiSystems also has workbooks and materials that you could use for parent-child fun time. For example, there are “Quick Play Folder Games” for $15.95 each that practice word associations, categories, concepts, rhyming and vocabulary. There are “Early Social Behavior” books for ages 3-6 and “That’s Life” books, cards and game for middle- and high-school ages, for example. The “100%” workbooks are $43.95 and great for sitting together for 30 minutes of more structured focus. Spice up the activities by checking off each item on a page using colored markers or stickers. Share a snack and use the lessons for topics of conversation. Don’t feel like you need to do every item on every page. Have fun!

I do not have a financial interest in LinguiSystems – except that I spent a lot of money there! It is just one of many online opportunities that offer much more educational choice than you will find in the toy or book stores. I would love to know where your family finds online books, games, and other fun stuff.

Here is a list of things that can be helpful throughout the summer:*
• Minimize interruptions
• Speak slower
• Respect silence
• Minimize rushing & hurrying
• Ask one question at a time
• Avoid “show & tell”
• Talk about topics meaningful to your child
• Talk about stuttering
• Lessen conversation when there is more disfluency
• Insert short, easy, stutter-like mistakes in your speech
• Teach turn-taking
• Build self-confidence

*Ramig, P.R. & Dodge, D.M. (2010) The Child and Adolescent Stuttering Treatment and Activity Resource Guide , Delmar, Cengage Learning p. 15
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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License.Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License.