Often, speech therapy is a journey, rather than a quick fix. Sustaining personal motivation is key to ensuring continued effort during speech therapy sessions and consistent practice at home. It can be tricky, however, to fight off a lull in motivation, particularly when progress is not immediately apparent. Here are some ways you can help your loved one stay positive and motivated:
- Show them how far they have come
Look for real-life examples of how much improvement your loved one has made, since they first started therapy. Consider taking videos at home of them performing a task related to their goals (e.g. describing their day) over time for a concrete reminder of how far they have come in their journey.
- Keep their goals in view
Together with your loved one and their speech therapist, identify a set of goals that are both personally meaningful and attainable. This may be something as simple as singing their child a birthday song or ordering a cup of coffee. Whenever motivation dips, remind them of their ‘why’ – why they chose these goals and why they are meaningful.
- Celebrate their wins
As your loved one makes progress in their goals, check off each step and celebrate their achievements! A sense of accomplishment is one of the best ways to jump start a person’s motivation.
- Build a routine
Help your loved one integrate therapy tasks into their daily routines. Together with your loved one, identify a timeslot in the day that is optimal for therapy practice and embed it permanently into their daily routines! For example, they could practice their speech therapy strategies immediately after breakfast every day, or while at the park for their daily walk.
Author: Annie Lim, Speech Therapist