This blog post was originally published on 1/11/2020.
The start of a new year most often means a time of reflection, goal setting, and for some - drastic changes. But what if you could make small shifts in your mindset and actions while producing greater gains in functioning? Perhaps that’s too good of a deal to be true…
Patients and their loved ones may think that there is some magic equipment or secret behind speech-language pathology activities which will ultimately lead to improved performance towards communicative or cognitive goals. There are some helpful tools, but for the most part, therapy is about being open to using new strategies in everyday contexts to make functioning easier. Once you learn, individualize, and implement the strategy, you just have to figure out how it fits into your daily routine.
This is where the shift in mindset and actions come into play, because you will need to identify moments in your day that are also “therapeutic” in nature. Here is an example: if you are working on staying on topic, finding the right words to say, and being verbally organized, do you have moments in your day where you can have extended conversations with others? If you are working on decision-making and reasoning, are there any tasks that require you to weigh the pros and cons of an outcome? If you are working on improving your comprehension skills, are there household routines which require listening to or reading instructions? The answer to all of these scenarios is YES.
There are numerous tasks you or someone in your family perform monthly, weekly, if not daily, which can also double as an interactive therapy task. You just have to view it from a different perspective. Below are ideas of different therapy activities listed by category:
Speech Production and Verbal Expression
Organization and Planning
As the year gets underway, think about how you can use everyday routines to work on cognitive and communicative skills. Download our infographic for ideas on the go. Let CSL know in the comments how you plan to shift your perspective on speech, language, and cognition this year and what activities you plan on doing!
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Devon Brunson, MS, CCC-SLP
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