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  • Genna Nichol

How to Prepare Your Child for Speech and Occupational Therapy: 5 Essential Tips

Starting speech or occupational therapy at a new clinic with new people can be a big step for your little one. Help ease them into the experience and prepare them up for success with these five essential steps:

1. Let us know your child's interest in advance

Does your child love dinosaurs, trains, or animals? Children respond best to things that interest them. A few days before your child's session, let us know what interests them so we can prepare a session that gets them engaged.

2. Arrive early

Give yourself time and arrive a few minutes before the scheduled therapy session. This will allow your child time to get used to the new environment and regulate their feelings so they are more likely to respond to therapy.

3. Bring your child's favourite comfort toy

Allow your child to bring their favourite comfort toy to the session. Having that special item will make them feel more safe and secure, which will lead to better therapy outcomes. A special item is also a great conversation starter to help the therapist get to know your child.

Child hugging teddy bear before speech therapy

4. Be prepared to stay and watch

During the session, the therapist will model behaviour and activities you can use at home to keep the learning going. As a parent or caregiver, you are essential to your child's therapy success and are most welcome to stay, watch, and learn.

5. Make arrangements for siblings

If possible, plan for siblings to be elsewhere during the session. This will allow you and your child to focus 100% on therapy. We understand this may not always be possible. If you are unable to make alternate arrangements, please let our team know so we can be prepared to include siblings in the session.

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