It’s well documented that children with language disorders experience more significant improvements when language is being stimulated in the home environment, as well as in the therapy room. SLPs are able to provide direct, effective therapy to be sure! But generalizing the skills taught in the speech room to the daily activities at school and home benefit from a more collaborative approach. And that includes parents!

For most children, seeing a speech language pathologist once per week isn’t enough time to develop language skills. In fact, it’s hard to learn any new skill if it’s only practiced for one hour per week. But if you work together with your child’s speech language pathologist, you can come up with goals and activities that you can do at home during your everyday life that will make a huge difference in your child’s language learning. Ultimately, you can provide language intervention every day, many times a day, as you go through your daily routines. Bath time, eating a meal, going for a ride in the car, or any other daily activity can be an opportunity to practice communicating.” – Lauren Lowry, Hanen SLP & Clinical Writer

As parents are often apprehensive about their role in language intervention, it can be helpful for the SLP to make suggestions that are easily embedded into the daily routines parents are already engaging in with their children. One of these routines is going to the grocery store! For the next few articles, I’ll be sharing specific language targets that parents can model during a simple trip to the grocery store with their child. 

The 10 Verbs

1. Walk

2. Choose

3. Push

4. Go

5. Stop

6. Wait

7. Like

8. Want

9. Need

10. Pay

Suggestions for modeling:

1. Keep your sentence structure short and simple.

2. Place a slight emphasis on the target word, but use natural-sounding speech. 

3. Use synonyms alongside target words. For example, after modeling the verb pick several times, follow up with the word choose. “Let’s pick out the cereal. You choose the cereal you want.”

4. Accompany the word models with gestures and actions to help your child associate the spoken word with its meaning. 

5. Give your child a chance to respond. Don’t just talk, talk, talk! Model the verbs in a natural way and allow your child to respond, either verbally or with his actions.