When it comes to speech therapy exercises, there is no “one size fits all”. The types of exercises that might be beneficial for one individual might prove to be ineffective for another individual. Speech therapy exercises for children, or speech therapy exercises for toddlers, would no doubt vary greatly than speech therapy exercises for adults. And then of course you have to consider that different circumstances may call for different approaches to speech therapy. For example, speech therapy exercises for stroke patients might vary drastically from the speech therapy exercises toddlers would require.
Let’s examine some of the differences you might expect in the types of approaches to administering speech therapy:
Speech Therapy Exercises For Toddlers
For toddlers, the ability to express themselves to get what they want is still in the formative stages. Speech therapy exercises for toddlers should be focused on intellectually stimulating game play. Toddlers respond best to tangible artifacts such as toys. You as the parent or the therapist should incorporate speech pathology into the game play, by compelling the toddler to speak in order to identify the names of objects or to pose a question or a command asking for something.
Some examples of exercises for your toddler might include sitting and reading a picture book together with them. Have the toddler identify and name the pictures. You say the word and then have the toddler repeat the word after you, modeling your speech pattern. Other examples might include playing with toys or dolls, and having the child touch and identify each one. (For toddlers, tactile associations with words is critical).
Speech Therapy Exercises For Children
Young children who have speech delays or speech impediments can still benefit from exercises that are oriented around game play. Speech therapy exercises for children can be integrated with challenging puzzles, quizzes, interactive toys and trivia games. At this stage, depending on the maturity level of the the child, it may not pay to hold therapy sessions in a more clinical and less of a game-oriented format. Children learn best through interactive, stimulative play.
The use of games will not only help to make the experience more fun and less clinical, but it will help to motivate the child to articulate himself or herself, thus paving the way for the child to improve his or her linguistic capabilities.
Speech Therapy Exercises For Adults
Speech therapy activities for adults can typically be more clinically oriented and need not be in the form of creative game play. Simply having an individual practice reading words aloud is typically sufficient while the therapist guides him or her toward correct pronunciation.
Having the patient read a book aloud can be adequate and quite effective, as might be having the patient engage in spontaneous dialogue or discussion.
Speech Therapy Exercises For Stroke Patients
As for someone who may have suffered a stroke, and as a consequence, has lost some of his or her ability to articulate certain words as easily as before, the goals and objectives of speech therapy are very different. In this case, speech therapy exercises for stroke patients are geared toward recovery as opposed to learning. Whereas, speech therapy exercises toddlers might go through are more for teaching them speech expression as a new skill, stroke patients are having to recover and, in a sense, relearn, their old skill of how to articulate words correctly. Speech therapy exercises after stroke incidents can be more challenging, considering that there will more than likely be a great deal of frustration on the part of the stroke victim. They will be struggling to return to their old lifestyle in which they used to be able to take the ability to speak and articulate themselves, for granted.
The ability to overcome any type of speech impediment requires patience, discipline, persistence, and consistency. It requires an active involvement from the patient. And in the case of toddlers and children, it also involves active participation on the part of the parent as well. As a parent, you should not necessarily have to maintain a passive role when your child is engaged in sessions with a therapist. On the contrary, the parent needs to be involved, so that he or she can learn tips and strategies from therapist, so that you can practice these at home with your child during the rest of the week, in between therapy sessions. As for adults and stroke victims, it requires a firm resolve and a great deal of patience, courage, and hope. It also means having to overcome feelings of frustration at the loss of speech motor skills while they work to reacquire
In fact, many of the speech therapy exercises described above can be done on your own at home, without the intervention of a therapist.