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12 At-Home Speech Therapy Exercises for Children with Autism

As speech therapists, we love it when parents ask for additional ways they can support and enhance the work we do in session while at home. We understand the challenges you face with your child’s receptive and expressive language skills. While there is no “quick fix” for speech and language difficulties, integrating speech therapy exercises into your daily routine can be a powerful way to assist your child outside of formal therapy sessions. We put together a list of 12 at-home speech therapy exercises designed to be both engaging and beneficial for your child.

Speech Therapy Activities vs Daily Routine Adjustments

Before we dive into those therapy exercises, we thought it might be a great idea to give some insight into the different ways you can help your child communicate better. These are split into two categories: Speech Therapy Activities and Daily Routine Adjustments. 

Speech Therapy Activities vs Daily Routine Adjustments

Speech Therapy Activities are game-like exercises that you play for 15-30 minutes at a time and not on a daily basis. These exercises can be great to do on the fly like when your child seems bored. Some of our families keep a few of these exercises in their back pocket to do when they are out shopping at Target or Walmart, or when they are out at restaurants. Other families plan for game times during the day. You know your child and your routine best, so use your best judgment for the exercises.

Daily Routine Adjustments are exactly what they sound like - things you can do daily to help your child with speech and language through routine adjustments. These aren’t necessarily game-like activities but some can definitely be as fun as playing a game. One of the biggest stressors for parents with these adjustments is trying to do too much at once. Don’t overhaul your daily routine! Instead, try incorporating these activities slowly one by one. Daily routine adjustments shouldn’t cause you or your child stress. You may find that some of the adjustments aren’t necessary on a daily basis and others are no longer needed. Go at your pace but stick with it.

Here are 12 at-home speech therapy exercises designed to be both engaging and beneficial for your child:

  1. Utilize the Picture Exchange Communication System (PECS) to foster non-verbal communication, helping your child express their needs through pictures.

  1. Focus the Emotions that a Character is Feeling When Reading Books: Enhance emotional understanding by identifying and discussing emotions they read or see in books. in the stories.

  1. Creative Storytelling with Props: Use household items as props to tell stories, encouraging your child to contribute, and fostering imagination and narrative skills.

  1. Mirror Exercises: Practice making and recognizing different facial expressions and sounds in the mirror to improve awareness of non-verbal cues.

  1. Follow the Leader with Simple Instructions: Boost listening and comprehension by giving and following simple, action-based commands.

  1. Engage in Turn-taking Games: Simple board games or interactive activities that encourage turn-taking can enhance social communication skills.

  1. Sound Repetition Practice: Focus on mimicking sounds or words to improve articulation and phonetic skills.

  1. Sing Along to Favorite Songs: Use the rhythmic and repetitive nature of songs to engage in verbal expression.

  1. Role-playing Social Scenarios: Practice common social interactions through role-play to improve social understanding and communication.

  1. Matching and Categorization Games: Utilize matching exercises to develop vocabulary and conceptual understanding.

  1. Descriptive Exercises with Household Objects: Encourage descriptive language by talking about the features of various objects around the house.

  1. Interactive Reading: Read books together, discuss the pictures, and encourage your child to repeat phrases or narrate parts of the story.

These exercises are not just about improving speech and language skills; they're about opening up new avenues for connection and understanding between you and your child. Regular practice, patience, and positivity can make a significant difference in your child's communication journey. Remember, every child's development is unique, and these activities can be tailored to fit your child's interests and needs.



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