SLP’s: Moving Out of the Box

Speech-Language Pathologists (SLP’s) are on a perpetual search for new and innovative ways to address their goals.  We must be “out of the box” thinkers.  Our therapy toolbox includes developmental checklists, worksheets (a.k.a. drill-n-kills), picture cards, tongue depressors, bells & whistles (literally), picture books, and board games.  For the more tech savvy SLP’s, our iPads have become our best friend, our constant companion.  Do you want to know what is my favorite tool – my secret weapon, my most preferred activity –  it’s MOVEMENT!!  

Benefits of Movement

We often think of addressing social skills in a one-on-one or group setting, sitting around a table discussing a chosen topic.  Yes, these types of activities are necessary, but we often forget about incorporating natural opportunities to talk, having a conversation, and increasing socialization. Consider when people “socialize” the most – it is usually while walking, playing, exercising, spending time on the playground or many other movement-based activities.

dylan motor room

Co-treatments with the physical therapist occur when we are working with students in the motor room.  Examples of therapy activities: oral motor exercises, following 1-2-3 step directions while creating an obstacle course, verbal requests (I want to swing, I want to trapeze swing, I want to climb), choosing the correct picture cards while laying on the platform swing, or using the climbing wall for letter ID, picture ID, categories, sentence formation.  Movement is valuable for development.  We all will benefit from a little more movement.  Now get out there and get active!

Try these tips for some ways to get moving at home:

  1. Make moving fun! Play a game that gets them active.  (i.e. Play “Duck, Duck, Goose” or build an obstacle course.)
  2. Use songs or characters from their favorite shows.  (i.e. If they enjoy Power Rangers, call a jumping jack a “Power Up Jump”.)
  3. Move with them! Get active with your kids so it becomes something you do together.  (i.e. Play “Simon Says” or take a trail walk.)