Transitioning Into A Therapeutic Program

Many parents of children with speech and language difficulties often find it hard to transition their child from one activity to the next without conflict. Often times, parents see behaviors from their child that represent frustration through tantrums and outbursts. These behaviors frequently occur when transitioning their child’s attention to a new focus or activity.

A therapeutic program provides structure in a child’s schedule, which is important for early childhood development. Below is a list of techniques used in many therapeutic programs that provide stability for the child. These techniques create comfort and ease for the child by following a structured schedule that allows the child to know what to expect in the classroom.

Tear-Free Separation

A positive atmosphere in the classroom is created by using redirection. Many children feel separation anxiety from their parents or guardians leaving. By using redirection, program staff can draw their attention elsewhere. Toys, games, and activities are all used to redirect the child’s focus on new tasks as their caretakers leave. Familiar toys and blankets are often used to help the child create a sense of familiarity and safety in a new environment. The child will soon learn that the therapists are trusting individuals whom they will be spending a few hours of their day with. Many parents choose to stay on site, but outside of the classroom until their child is comfortable enough to be alone the whole period in the classroom. This gives the child time to learn the surroundings of their environment and trust the individuals in it.

Attention Development

Children learn to develop attention skills throughout daily activities in the classroom. These skills are learned to help your child switch their focus from one activity to the next with ease. Many speech therapy exercises performed in the classroom involve practice and repetition activities that help motor and memory skills. Your child will actively engage in board games, puzzles, crafts and interactive memory games with program staff. These activities will not only help elicit your child’s attention, but aid in improving social skills, sitting tolerance, and turn-taking skills. All of these are critical skills for a child to learn in order to grow and succeed in the classroom and at home.

Structure and Routine

Implementing structure and daily routines into a child’s life are critical for all developmental skills, especially in speech and language. Structure and routine both create a sense of comfort and stability throughout a child’s life. Class activities are structured in a consistent format, creating a space of learning for the child. He or she will soon begin to associate this new learning space with play, therapy, and school, all while a sense of comfort is maintained. Tear-Free Separation and Attention Development give the child the sense of comfort they need to be able to learn and grow in a new environment.

All techniques used in the classroom are beneficial in a child’s early life. If you feel that your child is struggling and would benefit from the list of techniques used to create comfort in the classroom, transitioning into a therapeutic program may be a great decision for your child.

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