So, why is your child not progressing? There are 3 main reasons that I find this is happening.
1. Beginning Too Advanced
One is that the therapist may have started at a level that is too high for your child. When I was a new therapist, I honestly found myself making this mistake, in that I was so excited to be working with this new child and wanted to get to verbal words right away, that I skipped all of those pre-skills. They should watch my video, “The 11 Foundational Skills Before Speech” so that you can really understand what I’m talking about.
When I was a newer clinician, I started at the very top of the skill hierarchy. I made that mistake in that the child needed those pre-skills. So, it wasn’t the child’s fault. It was that I was challenging the child at too high of a level. So, that may be possible. Maybe you have a new therapist, maybe you have a therapist who hasn’t been working with toddlers for a while, and they need to back up and work on some pre-linguistic skills. Like, understanding speech, as in understanding and using gestures, and all of the other things that I talk about in that video.
So, that may be one.
Two is that there may not be enough consistency of therapy. If your therapist is changing back and forth between people, if there’s a lot of cancellations—by you or your therapist—and you’re not having that therapy consistently every week, then that is a problem.
Research shows that consistency is a really big factor in making progress. Weekly. At least one hour a week is what we’re hoping for.
But, number three. Now, I really find that this is probably the most important one and probably should be Number One.
This is the carry-over. The carry-over of what the speech therapist is doing in the one-hour of therapy is not happening in that the parents at home—or the grandma or the grandpa or whoever is raising that child—is not understanding and using those techniques daily with the child. Let’s be real, guys. One hour of speech therapy a week is only 2% of your child’s life in one week. The waking hours that your child has throughout one week, that one hour is only 2%. It’s not enough.
So, 98% of your child’s week’s waking hours is you. It is you: the mom, the dad, the grandma, the grandpa, whoever is raising this child. So, really, the big responsibility for teaching your child to communicate effectively is in your hands. It’s our job to train YOU. If you have a speech therapist who’s maybe shy or doesn’t understanding that importance and hasn’t given you specific tasks to do throughout the week, then you need have a conversation with your speech therapist. Say, “Hey. I need some homework. I need to understand what you’re doing, and I need to be able to do it if we’re really going to see progress. Okay?”
I’m a firm believer in that. It’s hard for some speech therapists to transfer their knowledge into parent-friendly language and really explain it to you, but hopefully, that’s happening. If not, ask for it.
While I’m talking about how important it is for you to understand, if that’s not happening with your therapist, and you have that conversation with them, and then it’s still not happening…Okay, maybe you should consider something else, like my online program.
I talked about how you need to understand what to do. I have created an entire program – a step-by-step process where I explain to you what to do at home. Maybe you don’t have access to speech therapy. This would be a great opportunity for you to learn. So, I’m putting a link here to all of my online courses including Level 1, which is teaching a child to move from no words to using signs then to TALKING! And then Level 2, which is moving from, “Okay, now my kid’s talking, and now I want them to combine words and use phrases.” That’s Level 2.
So, I’m here for you. I want to provide you with that step-by-step process so that you can help your child at home and have that real-life carry-over to pump up the 98% of your child’s waking hours that is spent with you, the family members.
If you’re in San Diego—contact me below! I or one of the therapists from my company would love to work with you and your child.
If you’re in California – we can set up a consultation over the phone and we can really talk about what’s going on with your child. Click here to request a phone appointment.
If you still need more help, reach out to me. I would love to help you out. Send me an email. I would love to help you figure out what is the next best step for you.