Although many of us have intentions of relaxing more and doing less every summer, it still tends to get crazy: graduations, weddings, family reunions, and vacations. Despite our busy schedules, summer can still be a great time for children to receive speech, language, reading, and feeding therapies. This is especially true with ChitChat Therapies since we come to you! Here’s a countdown of why therapy in the summer makes sense:
5). School’s Out!
Summer is the perfect opportunity for children to boost their skills. Whether your child just needs to work on a few speech sounds, has dyslexia or another learning disability, or is a “problem feeder” and just eats a handful of foods, summertime can give parents the chance to focus on challenges that they haven’t had time to address. Also, since school is out, it’s an ideal time for children with apraxia to receive the multiple intensive therapy sessions that they need.
4). Benefiting from Home-, Daycare-, or Summer Camp-based Services
ChitChat Therapies goes to families’ homes, daycares, and summer camps to work with children, as well as offers online therapy services. One huge benefit is that children learn skills within their natural environments, making it easier to generalize skills into their everyday lives. Also, you won’t miss shuttling your kids across town for an appointment!
3). Learning to Explore and Enjoy Fresh Foods
Like many kids, I didn’t enjoy most vegetables. This is something I eventually grew out of, but did you know that many picky eaters never grow out of their restrictive eating habits? Children who are very picky eaters (commonly referred to as “problem feeders” in our field) often refuse to eat foods in entire categories, including vegetables. With all of the fresh produce and meats available in the summer, it can be a wonderful opportunity for children to explore new and delicious foods. Families can take their children to farmers’ markets to see, smell, touch, and taste different fruits and vegetables. (If you live in the Denver/Boulder areas, two of the best are the Boulder Farmers' Market and the South Pearl Street Farmers' Market). Children can also get more involved with preparing snacks and meals, a strategy that has been proven to help “problem feeders” learn and discover new foods. If your family is struggling with picky eating and/or your mealtimes are constant stressful battles, contact ChitChat Therapies. Seriously, the stress alone is reason to get professional help!
2). Playing & Moving Outside
Some of my other Colorado transplant friends have said, “You move to Colorado for the winter (sports), but you stay for the summer.” This has definitely been true for me! Lots of ChitChat Therapies’ summer sessions are held outside in yards, playgrounds, and even pools, working on skills that kids need to work on while also having fun. For example, if I’m working with a toddler who is just using a few words, I’ll ask the parent to gather some of the kid’s favorite toys (e.g., car, ball, bubbles). We’ll bring them outside and possibly work on the child requesting toys by modeling signs and simple words. Playing outside also involves movement and gross motor skills. Many therapists know that when young children are moving, they can be more likely to vocalize and talk!
1). Boost Skills before the Next School Year
One of the reasons I started ChitChat Therapies is to help address the gap of kids who need speech, language, reading, and feeding therapies but don’t qualify for school-based services. There are so many kids out there who don’t test at or below the 7th percentile, but whose skills are below average and need speech therapy. Summer is a wonderful time for children to work on speaking more clearly, developing reading skills, and learning to become a more adventurous eater.
The bottom line is that summer offers an abundance of opportunities, settings, and foods for children and families. If your child needs help with their speech, language, and/or picky eating, contact ChitChat Therapies today and take advantage of summer!
Hi! I'm Angie Wuelling, MA, CCC-SLP, bilingual speech-language pathologist and owner of ChitChat Therapies. I started this blog because I'm passionate about sharing information about speech, language, reading, and feeding development with fellow parents, speech-language pathologists, teachers, and other professionals. There's a lot of misinformation out there, and this blog is my small way of helping empower and educate others.
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