How to Calm and Prepare your Child for a Therapy Session
“A winning effort begins with preparation.”
Joe Gibbs (American football coach, NASCAR Championship team owner, former NHRA team owner)
So, you’ve settled on taking your child to a speech therapy session. Rest assured, you’ve made the right choice. Speech therapy is a proven practice with the potential for fantastic results in children with a range of speech and language issues. Even if it turns out that your child needs very little assistance at all, you will be thankful for the peace of mind that comes with attendance.
But now you’re stuck with a dilemma. How exactly do you prepare your child for their very first speech therapy session? This may feel like a daunting experience for you yourself, so you can only imagine how your child might react in response to an official appointment with a professional who is also a stranger. Taking even a short amount of time to talk to and prepare your child though will pay dividends 1.
So how do you prepare a child for a visit to a speech therapist?
Try and get them into a routine
Routine is comforting for everyone – especially restless children. If you say from the very beginning that you’ll be visiting this place every week at a particular time, your child won’t feel as though a surprise has been sprung upon them. Integrating speech therapy sessions into your child’s regular schedule helps to quell the nerves – for both of you 2!
Talk to them on their level
Every child is different, so you will know which approach is best to take when you tell your little one that you’re taking them to a therapy session. In most cases, it’s best to avoid the term “therapy”, as this may upset some children – and others simply won’t understand it, which can be equally unsettling. Inform your child that you’re going to see a particular person (name them), explain how you’ve met this person before and how nice they are, and that they can say anything they like in their presence. You can even say something along the lines of “Lisa helps children just like you by talking to them”. You could also suggest they take along their favourite toy to show the therapist.
Avoid being overly-serious
Taking your child to a speech therapy session might feel like a big deal, but you shouldn’t treat it that way – especially when you inform your child about it. Make the whole discussion light and breezy – don’t warn them they will have to behave and sit quietly. This will only lead to panic, as they may sense something they’re not going to like is about to happen.
Don’t drag them kicking and screaming
This is difficult, we know. You only want the best for your child, and sometimes it can be tempting to bite your lip and haul them into the car, knowing that what you’re doing is for the greater good. We advise against that. If your child throws a real tantrum when they’ve worked out that you’re taking them somewhere they might not like, don’t force them into it. Give us a call and talk to one of our specialists. They will be able to offer you the advice, guidance and support you need to get your child in the right frame of mind.h
Disclaimer: The information contained in this website is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. It is provided for educational purposes and should not be used in place of a visit, call, consultation or the advice of a user’s personal physician or other qualified healthcare professional. Any treatment options presented herein should not be considered treatment instructions and we assume no liability for the outcome of any interventions listed on this website. Should you have any health care related questions or concerns, please call or see your physician without delay.