COVID-19 has changed everything and everyone. School is canceled. Parents are now teachers. Teachers work from home. And millions of children are adjusting to life without school. Like many other families, my child receives speech therapy services at school. Now that school is out indefinitely, we are looking for ways to maintain some semblance of normal.
I know there is no way I can take the place of the very skilled therapists employed by the school district, but I want to ensure that my daughter doesn’t lose any of the progress she’s made. So I’ve been on the lookout for easy-to-implement resources to use at home. Turns out, there are lots out there.
Online resources for speech therapy:
Articulation Station – I’ve used this app in the past, and it’s pretty amazing. There is a free and a paid version. It was created by a Speech Language Pathologist (SLP) and focuses on 22 specific sounds. Children learn the sounds through very engaging games. My daughter liked this app so much that she would play it even when it wasn’t “Speech time”
Speech Tutor – The Speech Tutor App offers animated videos to show proper tongue placement for sound production. Users can record themselves practicing target sounds and play it back to compare themselves to the correct pronunciation. It’s a bit more technical than some other apps, but still effective
Dexteria– This app is actually for Occupational Therapy. It’s an entire series of apps that focus on fine motor skill development. There are specific apps for spatial reasoning, handwriting, and an app that is appropriate for older children.
There are also quite a few websites that provide therapeutic resources for parents.
Say it Right – This website is for speech therapists, pathologists, teachers, and parents. It has free resources and continuing education for professionals. Say it Right also has an online store to order supplemental tools and resources.
Mommy Speech Therapy – I found this website through the American Speech-Language Hearing Association, and I was very impressed. This website has articles and other resources that break down the science of speech therapy so that it’s easy to understand for the non-speech therapist. There are also videos and free resources that can be used at home.
The Stuttering Foundation – The mission of this organization is to provide resources, support and training for people who stutter and their families. You can access articles, books and interactive videos to use with your child.
You can find almost anything on YouTube, and now that includes Speech Therapy. Not all YouTubers are created equally, and the best one I’ve found is Walkie Talkie Speech Therapy. Kayla Chalko is a speech therapist from California with over 33,000 subscribers, and for good reason. She has created over 100 videos to help parents of young children teach speech concepts. The videos are organized by topics and very easy to follow.
On Facebook, a great resource for Speech Therapy is Mrs. Speechie P. I have been following her for years. She gives ideas on using everyday activities to practice speech skills. The activities are simple, fun and highly impactful.
If you haven’t received any information from your child’s school-based speech therapist, you might consider contacting them. I emailed my daughter’s therapist today and have already received a response with activities that we can do at home. Some districts are even looking into conducting online speech therapy sessions and are currently working out the details before launching.
Hopefully these resources provide a starting point for incorporating speech activities into your homeschooling routine. No website, app, or amount of videos can ever replace a speech therapist, and that’s ok. The goal in our house is to do a speech-related activity twice weekly to help slow down some of the regression that would otherwise occur. We are all homeschoolers now, with little warning or preparation.
Just remember to do the best you can, and try not to stress too much about your child falling behind. Every child is in the same boat right now, and whatever effort (big or small) you put into your homeschool and therapy is more than enough right now.