For SLPs

Helping Students “Buy In” to Speech

Help students buy in to speech with the help of the tips in this guest post. Especially if you work with older students, you might be on the receiving end of complaints from students about having to go to therapy. These tricks can help them buy in to speech!

“I don’t want to go to speech!”

“Why do I have to come today?”

“Can I just stay in class?”

Have you ever heard these comments? I hear them particularly from my older students, but every now and then from my younger students as well. If you too have heard your students whining, then the issue may be related to “buy in”. Do your speech students feel like an important part of the “speech community”?

To help your students feel part of the awesomeness of speech, try out one or all of the following ideas:

1) Give kids an incentive goal.

My students work as a group to earn “speech money” towards a party. The more often that they come to speech and do their work, the faster they rack up the cash. It’s unbelievable how effective saving towards a party (even one months away) motivates kids to get hopping to the speech room.

2) Create exclusive groups.

Over the years I have had “Lunch Bunch”, “Speech Club“, and “Social Skills Club“. Some groups name their “teams” and create a team flag to be displayed when they come to speech. When students feel like they are part of something special, they have more motivation to come.

3) Make speech fun.

Although I am not a big advocate for games, there are so many other things that can be fun in the speech room. Arts, crafts, cooking, and creating gives many opportunities for practicing speech and language. Role playing is perfect for social skills. Just adding funny voices to sessions can get kids laughing. It isn’t a good day in speech unless at least one person thinks that I’ve lost it!

Help students buy in to speech with the help of the tips in this guest post. Especially if you work with older students, you might be on the receiving end of complaints from students about having to go to therapy. These tricks can help them buy in to speech!4) Show off kids’ pictures.

My students love and adore seeing their pictures in the room. This year my students are adding their own faces onto superhero bodies. Amazing. How motivating is that for speech?

Help students buy in to speech with the help of the tips in this guest post. Especially if you work with older students, you might be on the receiving end of complaints from students about having to go to therapy. These tricks can help them buy in to speech!5) Display their progress.

My SLPA has created an articulation progress chart. She has steps towards graduating from speech along with little Velcro children. Each time they come to speech, she places the clip art child on a step. Over time, the students watch their icon slowly get higher and higher. They celebrate coming to speech and getting closer to their goal. I’ve seen other SLPs have their students graph their own progress. Anything to help kids to know that they are making progress and feel proud of themselves.

Give these idea a try and then watch your students faces when you show up in the classroom. Do they perk up a bit and ask, “Is it my turn? Can I come to speech today?!”

Cheri Chin, MS, CCC/SLP is the creator of the longest running blog for Speech Pathologists, Super Power Speech.  When she is not doing speechie things, you can probably catch her taking care of her kids, running, or reading a book.


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2 Comment

  1. Reply
    Tina Handshy
    September 27, 2016 at 10:25 PM

    I would love to have a copy of the speech hierarchy. Would you share it?

    1. Reply
      Shannon
      September 30, 2016 at 8:41 AM

      I’d try contacting Super Power Speech as she is the one who wrote the post. I’m sure she’d be willing to help or at least point you in the right direction! Thanks for reaching out!

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