To the untrained eye, articulation therapy can look like one big conversation mixed in with a game or two here and there. Unless you are familiar with the components and the structure of therapy, it can make it hard to know if you are correctly following through with home practise.
Throughout this blog series I am going to discuss one of the most common therapy hierarchies used when treating articulation disorders known as Van Riper’s model and how homework can be completed at each stage within this hierarchy. Van Riper’s model is a framework used to structure speech therapy. It ensures that therapy goals are targeted at the right level to gain success during each practice session. The levels include working on sounds in isolation, syllables, words, sentences, stories/paragraphs, conversation and the generalisation level. Here are a few activities that are useful for targeting sounds at each of these levels.
Sounds in isolation
Targeting sounds in isolation can be repetitive and monotonous. While it can be time consuming to incorporate a game, at this stage especially for children under the age of 6 years, it is almost essential to keep kids engaged and enjoying the practise sessions. Many sounds such as the ‘s’ sound can be incorporated into free play such as pretending to be a snake and getting the best snake sound. However, this is not always practical or appropriate.
In cases where sound practise doesn’t link directly to the game. I would typically suggest any turn taking game, so you do not necessarily have to make the sound a part of the game, the reward for a few attempts would be a turn at the game. This way attempts at making the sound are rewarded and therapy is broken up, making it less monotonous.
Token rewards can also be provided for every correct attempt at a sound. This can be in the form of a sticker or stamp on a chart. This not only serves as a reward, it also boosts the child’s confidence and resilience, as they are able to visually see their successes. This can often be an issue when completing a repetitive task as repetition gives the child the impression they have gotten the sound wrong, and while this may be the case, it is important for them to focus on their achievements so that therapy remains a positive experience that they want to continue engaging in.
The next stage of articulation therapy is targeting words in Syllables and Words. Read on to find out how to target speech sounds at this level.
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This article was written by our Speech Pathologist Ashleigh Fattah who is a Speech Pathology Australia member. If you have speech pathology related questions, make an appointment. We‘ll provide you with simple and effective therapy targeted to your concerns. Contact us today.