Friday, August 2, 2013

From the Speech Therapy Room to Daily Speaking Situations: Let’s Discuss Carryover!

                Often parents wonder how they can help their child incorporate skills from the speech therapy room into their daily lives.  This is known as the carryover process.  Carryover refers to a client’s ability to take an individual speech skill learned in the therapy room and to apply it broadly in all speaking situations (Marshalla, 2010).   Parents find this particularly difficult when their child avoids speech homework between sessions and/or while practicing the speech sounds in social interactions.  Therapists and parents are asked to work together to find ways to motivate the child outside of the therapy room.  It is the goal of our speech therapists at MedCare to find ways to make this process fun, functional and effective.  In order for us to meet this goal, we need the parents of our clients to work with their speech therapist to make sure the client completes his/her speech homework or uses his/her speech strategies in all speaking situations. 

                As a parent you will see your speech therapist demonstrate creative ways to promote carryover activities.  For example, your son may love sports.  An assignment may be to use the correct production of the /r/ and /l/ phoneme during short conversations about sports.  Or you may have a three year old working on producing two to three word phrases; the therapist may have your child say that phrase while playing his/her favorite game.  At MedCare we believe in a team effort, and as a parent of the client who receives therapy with MedCare you are on that team.  Please feel free to provide your therapist with  as much information as possible about your child so we can design treatment specifically for your child.  

Van Riper and several other researchers have suggested some speech production activities for the promotion of carry over including:

·         Describing objects as a way to begin the process of spontaneous productions.

·         Chanting to encourage memory and automaticity.

·         Playing with an error sound or word to facilitate control.

·         Tongue twisters to teach children to control their speech.

·         Storytelling and re-telling to cause stimulate spontaneity and to cause a breakthrough in carry over.

·         Singing to help children remember their speech work and to encourage effortless practice.

·         Create a script to practice at a favorite restaurant.

·         Use the carryover phrase at a department store. 

(Marshalla, 2010)

In 1947, Charles Van Riper wrote that “We cannot rush the carryover process.”  Therefore, a critical component to the carryover process is patience.  Your child may make mistakes, but eventually with practice and in their own time they will get better at this goal. Patience is the first step in the carryover process.  Please do not give up!  Practice, practice, and practice!!  If parents encourage their child to engage in carryover activities, the overall quality of your child’s understanding and speech production will improve.  Through games, books, and functional daily activities you are assisting with the growth of new neural connections.  This in turn will enhance the speech production in your child’s daily life, not just in the speech room. 

By: Brittney Donielle Goodman M.S., CCC-SLP