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Setting and Achieving Goals for Speech Therapy in the New Year
Jan 03rd, 2024

By: Katie Skornia, MS, CCC-SLP

Entering a new year often prompts reflection on personal growth and aspirations. For parents and caregivers, this includes considering setting meaningful goals for their child’s development, especially in areas like speech therapy. Whether it’s aiming for increased language development, enhancing social skills, or addressing specific therapy-related objectives, setting clear and attainable goals serves as a roadmap for your child’s progress. While the primary goal of speech therapy is to enhance communication, we break it down into smaller, more manageable steps to help you and your child set and achieve their goals in speech therapy. 

Assessing Progress – Managing Your Child’s Plan of Care

Establishing realistic goals for speech therapy is unique to each family and child. Start by examining your child’s plan of care to see their progress thus far and what the next stage in communication is. Regularly reviewing your child’s plan of care can help you to be sure your child is continually making progress, however that may look. Breaking down each goal into small objectives such as “my child will reach for their AAC device throughout the day” can help in determining if your child’s goals and care plan should be adjusted. These objectives are customized to meet your child’s specific needs and are achievable within a set timeframe.

Collaborate with Your Child’s Therapist – Stay Engaged and Involved

As parents or caregivers, you are a crucial part of your child’s development and success. Being involved in your child’s therapy and the goals setting process can increase the progress they will make. According to a 2020 study, parental involvement with their child’s speech therapist results in improved language outcomes, improvements in educational progress and improvements in social inclusion (Klatte et al., 2020). 

Steps you can take as a parent/caregiver to increase progress include: 

  • Frequent and consistent home practice 
  • Consistent therapy attendance
  • Open communication with the speech therapist about progress and challenges you see at home

Focus on Progress

It is important to be mindful that meeting goals takes time. Although a goal may not yet be mastered, it’s essential to emphasize the progress your child is making. For children just starting to speak, you may notice an increase in babbling, new words, or more attempts to point to what they want. For children focusing on articulation, you may hear them pronounce a word more distinctly, or realize that you and others around you are understanding more of what they’re saying. Children trying to expand their language may start to discuss more subjects or share more regarding their day. These are all indicators of advancement that we should celebrate as they learn and develop.

By continually assessing your child’s care plan, staying engaged with your child’s treatment team and focusing on small communication achievements, you can create more opportunities for growth and progress. If you have any questions or concerns about your child’s goals, remember to reach out to their speech therapist for guidance.

Connect with Us

At KGH, we believe that every child has a lot to say and deserves to be heard and understood. Our Speech-Language Pathologists are here to help your child overcome communication barriers, ensuring they can express themselves confidently. 

Contact us today to explore the transformative impact of our Speech Therapy services and continue your child’s communication journey.

Source:

Klatte IS, Lyons R, Davies K, Harding S, Marshall J, McKean C, Roulstone S. Collaboration between parents and SLTs produces optimal outcomes for children attending speech and language therapy: Gathering the evidence. Int J Lang Commun Disord. 2020 Jul;55(4):618-628. doi: 10.1111/1460-6984.12538. Epub 2020 May 8. PMID: 32383829; PMCID: PMC7383473.

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