Being able to stay at home and homeschool your children is a privilege. But what do you do when you find out or suspect that your child needs speech therapy? Speech therapy can easily be incorporated into a part of your everyday curriculum in homeschooling and Speech Tails can help you along the way.
You might feel have lots of questions about how you should go about speech therapy in your homeschool setting. Such questions might be: How can I tell if my child needs speech therapy? What if he/she just mispronounces some sounds? My child’s speech and language just isn’t quite as strong as their older siblings’ were does this mean he/she is behind? What about stuttering from time to time? Is this normal? While all of these questions can be answered further in past blog posts, here are some tips on how to take the next steps when considering or preparing to incorporate speech therapy into your homeschool curriculum:
- Educate yourself on developmental norms. For example, if your 4 year old cannot say the /r/ sound, this is not cause for concern as most 4 year olds cannot. If he/she is leaving off all end sounds, and is unintelligible to anyone that isn’t a family member, then an evaluation should take place. Speech Tails offers a free online assessment that will give you a free report on where your child stands among his peers and his age group when it comes to speech and language. The free report will even set place a treatment plan for your child. This might include online speech therapy through Speech Tails or no therapy suggested. Speech Tails can be used alone or in combination with other ongoing speech therapy.
- Talk to your pediatrician. Since most homeschoolers don’t have a school speech pathologist to talk to, pediatricians are well educated on what the speech and language norms are for your child. He can also suggest speech therapy and help you to find one in your area. Most pediatricians will agree that it is always better not to take the ‘wait and see’ approach and allow your child to fall further and further behind from his peers. This is especially easier to do in homeschoolers when the social pressure is taken off and since there are no other peers to compare speech and language skills against.
- How is your child’s functional communication? If your child does well with vocabulary but nobody can understand them—or the opposite—and they speak clearly but have trouble putting together age appropriate speech, these should both be warning signals that a speech and language evaluation is merited.
Go with your gut feeling. If you feel something just isn’t right with your child’s speech or language, talk to your pediatrician. SpeechTails is a great online speech learning system that can guide you and help you along the way of online. The free speech screener is a good place to start and takes about 10 minutes to complete and offers a free report of results. Speech Tails be easily incorporated into your homeschool curriculum and is a fun, interactive, speech learning system that is available anytime you are. Go to http://www.speechtails.com to get started!