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Early Intervention Speech Therapy

Home Care Field Trips

Published October 1, 2013 8:00 AM by Stephanie Bruno-Dowling
In the Birth to 3 Program in which I work, we are often encouraged to move beyond the home when delivering services. Conducting therapy sessions outside of the child's living space allows several exciting things to happen: therapists can see if the child is able to carry over learned skills, parents can observe and learn about their child in a new environment and the child can learn how to behave and communicate in a different setting. The novelty of an exciting outing and a change in atmosphere also inherently creates the natural opportunity to learn new vocabulary and opens fresh communication pathways!

Here are a few field trip suggestions:

  • Local Library - Most libraries offer FREE storybook classes for toddlers and young children. This is a perfect opportunity to utilize a community resource! Visit your local library website or stop in a pick up a flyer. Share your findings with parents and see if you can coordinate a session during a story book group time!
  • Local Park - Is there a neighborhood park around the corner? Here is a great way to help a family explore their local environment and add some motor movement to your therapy sessions!
  • Go for a Walk - No scheduling required! Put on your walking shoes and take your little student out for a stroll with their parent. Go on a treasure hunt and see what they can interesting rock? A pine cone, acorn or feather? Look around and notice the sites: do you see flags? Cars? Clouds? Homes? What do you hear? A dog barking in the distance? All these experiences offer opportunity for communication and language expansion!
  • Local Classes - Is the child already involved in a class? Maybe a gym or art class? Would it be appropriate to accompany a child to one of these classes and help with their ability to communicate in this environment?
  • Local Mall Classes - Contact your local mall and see what is available. One of our local malls offers art classes for toddlers on a week by week basis, so no need to join anything or pay ahead! Just show up that day and create!
  • Childcare Center - Do your students attend childcare a few days a week? Would it be beneficial to observe them in this social environment with peers? Would it be helpful to speak with their teacher and ensure that the child has a way to communicate with their peers? This may be an excellent opportunity to help the child carry over skills and provide parents with helpful information about their child's communication capabilities beyond their four walls.

Do you have other home care field trips you like to take or would suggest? Write in and tell us!

I have a few field trips scheduled this month, which I will share about soon!

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The charitable organization CASANA focuses on helping children with apraxia of speech.


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About this Blog

    Stephanie Bruno Dowling, M.S. CCC-SLP
    Occupation: Speech-Language Pathologist
    Setting: Early Intervention in Delaware County, PA
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