Therapeutic Day Programs for Accomplishing Speech and Language Goals

Un programa terapéutico de día se distingue por todos los beneficios que es capaz de ofrecer a su hijo. Los programas y centros preescolares terapéuticos cuentan con varios profesionales, como terapeutas ocupacionales, del comportamiento y del habla. En combinación, los resultados mejoran en gran medida los conseguidos con la terapia individual.

From the moment a child enters a therapeutic day program, staff members are actively implementing activities and opportunities that satiate each child’s individual goals. The therapeutic team comes together to compile several lesson plans that are developmentally appropriate for each age group and are particular in choosing activities that elicit each child’s individual developmental goals. When a child, or several students within a class, satisfy a goal, the team reconvenes and works diligently on setting a new goal for the child while altering the lesson plans, paving a gateway to advancement and success in their overall language development.

Most programs offer a variety of engaging activities and lesson plans. During free play, children may demonstrate difficulties with sharing, such as wanting a toy that another child is possessing. Rather than observing the situation, and solving it themselves, staff members within a therapeutic day program use this as an opportunity. A staff member might ask the child, “what can we do if we want a toy another friend is playing with?” The child is required to respond verbally with appropriate skill level, such as “my turn,” or “can I have that toy, please?” The longer a child serves in a therapeutic day program, the longer their utterances will become. Exposure to situations that require verbal responses, as well as exposure to peer models exponentially increases a child’s language development.

During circle time activities, students sing songs, recite names, answer questions, and request items. For instance, each day the class might greet one another by singing a song that prompts motor speech production. The song might require using the first letter of each child’s name, and make the sound that correlates with that letter. Instructors are over exaggerate when prompting sound production, by visually displaying the positioning of the lips required to produce a specific sound, and gesturing so the children can successfully produce the sound independently. Circle time activities elicit similar speech and language related outcomes, including yes-no questions, requesting a turn, counting, and prompting choice selection.

La lectura es otra gran actividad de círculo para el desarrollo del habla. El profesor puede utilizar el libro La oruga muy hambrienta de Eric Carle. Una vez más, los instructores podrían pedir a los niños que produzcan el sonido /c/, así como dividir la palabra en segmentos silábicos; hacer que los niños dividan oruga en cat-er-pill-ar, mientras añaden palmadas entre cada sílaba. De este modo, el niño no sólo se familiariza con los sonidos de la palabra, sino que también se involucra en la historia, esperando la siguiente oportunidad para participar en la producción de sonidos.

While every therapeutic program is structured differently and focused on the needs of the children in class, the examples here highlight how the entire class is utilized for speech-language development. Making learning activities into play time or fun opportunities further engages the student and makes these therapeutic programs uniquely successful.

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