Spring is in the Air!  Time to Change the Scenery

Spring Break has finally arrived! Its time to spend time with our families and enjoy the warmer weather.  Speech Strategies encourages you to change your scenery to encourage more spontaneous conversation. Your change could be as large as a vacation or as small as playing outside in the backyard.  What is important is changing the routine and enjoying family interactions.

Did you ever notice that when things are different from what's expected, people naturally tend to comment?  Here is an example that I heard about this week.  A little girl took a trip to visit her grandparents in another state.  Now she is naming more family members and using more action words in her speech, such as "ride" to request another trip.

The Speech Strategy  for this week is to use life experiences to encourage spontaneous communication and commenting.  Take pictures to assist with talking about events that are personally relevant.  Make some memories together that we can share with each other to target sequencing skills and recalling past events.  Enjoy your family time and we can talk about it when we return to therapy recharged, ready to play, and have some stories to share!

Breaking Big Tasks into Smaller Pieces

I've been having trouble sleeping the past few nights because of some disturbing news that I heard this week.  I decided to go for a morning run to mentally process what I had been trying to work out at night.  However, I had a busy day of birthday parties today and was concerned that I wouldn't have enough energy to complete all that I had planned.  As usual, once I became physically active, my energy level improved and my thoughts became more positive again.

During the run, I was thinking of a conversation I had this week with a parent who isn't able to run due to an injury. It reminds me  that what may seem like a chore to one person, is something another person would be grateful to do. It helps put it all in perspective.

Effective communication may seem difficult for some people, but quite simple for others. We all have different skills and different challenges.  Therapy tasks may seem difficult at the time, but they are designed to be slightly challenging.  A Speech Strategy that can help when the job at hand seems overwhelming is to break it down into more manageable parts.  For example, during the big hill portion of my run this morning, I looked down at the sidewalk rather than looking up toward the top of the hill.  If I had concentrated on how far I still had to run, I may have given up.  By only looking at what I needed to do right now, I was able to keep moving.  It was worth it in the end.  I encourage you to remember this strategy when tasks seem overwhelming for you.  Multi-step directions can be given one step at a time.  Songs can be memorized one phrase at a time.  Making requests can begin by appropriately getting someone's attention.  The work you put into achieving smaller goals will ultimately pay off by allowing you to achieve your more long term goals. It will all be worth it in the end.

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