Success Strategies That Often Get Overlooked…Even By Professionals
By Hallie Bulkin
I have worked with many kids and families over the past four years. Many of the parents think that I work magic with their kids. Well…I know I don’t work magic (sorry to burst your bubble)…but I do use certain strategies with the kiddos that I work with. I consider these strategies to be a part of my successful speech pathology “tool belt.”
Honestly, I am surprised that more educators and professionals that work with the pediatric population have not figured out the importance of some of these strategies. If they have and they just aren’t using the strategies, they are missing out! Implementing the following strategies are a BIG part of the magic I work. Hopefully, I am not giving away too many of my secrets 😉
So what are the TOP 3 strategies I implement with the birth to 5 population? The strategies are:
- Get down on their level. This goes for the parents, the friends, the therapists, etc. When a child has anxiety anyone playing or working with the child needs to get down on the floor and play on the same level as the child. Older children or adults tower over toddlers and this can be very intimidating. If you want them to perform, become their equal…AKA…get down on the floor or kneel down so you are eye to eye with them.
- Limit your words. If the child is having trouble with language output (expressive language) and struggle with following multi-step directions, try giving them directions and comments that use fewer words. For example, with a child that is delayed and barely speaking, you do not want to say “Go get your shoes, put them on and then come to mommy to tie your laces.” No no no! That same command needs to become “get your shoes” and once they have them “bring to mommy.” Once they bring them you can comment on what you are doing “mommy tying laces.” Break it down into bite size pieces so they can experience success. Once they master the one-step command you can move to two and then to three. But make sure you limit your words in those commands. The ultimate goal is to make your child FEEL successful!
- Figure out their learning style and TEACH TO IT! Or make sure their teacher teaches to their learning style. Anxiety usually exists around areas that students struggle with in school (and yes this can happen in preschool). For students with delays or disorders, anxiety can be extremely heightened if you do not teach to their style as they will have a hard time grasping even the topics that interest them. It is important to know your child’s method of learning (this is typically learning once in school but if working with a therapist, they should be able to figure this out even at the age of 2). There are many learning styles so if you are not sure of how your child learns, this would be a good area to research, but that is a topic for another article 😉
I hope you find these strategies useful. If you have any questions about these strategies or other questions in general, I would love to know how I can help you. Comment below and let us know what strategies you use that have proven successful with your kids!