Home is Where the Heart Is: Take 5 (or More)


Everyone’s in the midst of planning summer vacations, signing up for camps and stocking up on popsicles and sunscreen.


May I make a recommendation?  Take a break, maybe even a big break, from therapy at some point this summer.


Odd advice coming from a therapist?  Perhaps.  But I’m a parent too.  Certainly consult your own provider(s), but let me list here five very important reasons you should take 5 this summer.


  1.  Get perspective:  There’s nothing like uninterrupted time together to realize, “Hey, this is so much easier than last year”, or “Wow, the waitress understood her order!” or “He can put on his Velcro sandals himself now.”  It’s hard to see growth when you’re staring at it all day.  Sit back and bask in the accomplishments no matter what the size.
  2.  Re-evaluate goals:  Therapists have great ideas for achieving the chronology of development, but they don’t live your life.  Maybe it’s 3:00pm, he’s tired and fussy.  You know he needs the peach smoothie in the blue cup before nap because you’ve been running this script for years.  So maybe you aren’t so vested in a verbal request for “drink,” “smoothie,” or “nigh-nigh” (especially if you’re on the brink of the only quiet 30 min. you’ll get in your day).   But getting him to say “Mimi” on the phone to your mom, which would make her year, even if he did it without communicative intent?  It’s ok to prioritize this way.  Figure out what you care about.
  3.  Decrease mileage:   Gas is expensive and the emissions are bad for the environment—so go green.  Even more importantly, lose all that time spent commuting to appointments and sitting in waiting rooms.  Use it on playing and living.
  4. Integrate lessons:  A skill learned in therapy is useless if you can’t achieve it in your everyday life.  The connections your child is making when they ask you for “more” on the playground swings?  And then uses it again on the slide?  That’s mastery.  Practice carry-over.
  5. Build confidence:  Both you and your child need to realize that it’s not the professionals getting you through the day—it’s you.  Scary, I know, to think “the buck stops here?”  You’re doing better than you think.  Get assertive.  “The buck stops here.”


Now….send us a postcard.


“Home is Where the Heart Is” is a new series of posts appearing monthly on www.ActivityTailor.com.  It’s written to offer solace and guidance to parents and offer a perspective shift to therapists.  I’d love to hear your comments!

Therapists, if appropriate, please share with your parents.  For a printer friendly version of this one page handout, please click:   Home Is Where the Heart is Take 5.



This Post Has 6 Comments

  1. Joan O'Brien

    Thanks for such a great reminder. Well said, Kim!

    1. admin

      I appreciate that, Joan! I think giving our clients the room to develop away from us, makes us more effective in the long run. Kim

  2. Nicole

    Love it:)

    1. admin

      I hope you can share it :). Kim

  3. Lara

    It seems as though all students benefit in some way from a break. I work in the public school system and I usually have a handful of students who have mastered a sound or at least made some gain without direct intervention over summer break! I am a mommy too, and I know how important it is to have family time. Speech and language is the core of just about every activity. Sometimes we tend to overthink what we need to do or feel we should do when trying to carryover targeted skills at home. Sometimes you can learn and take away more from the most simple activities and conversations. If taking a break (completely) from therapy is not an option or you do not feel comfortable, then maybe a reduction or short break may work!

    1. admin

      You are absolutely right. I love that you’ve pointed out that a break from the structured therapy room isn’t a complete break since communication and language are at the core of our every day activities. Thanks for the comment! Kim

Comments are closed.


The views expressed in this blog are my own and are intended to inspire other speech-language pathologists in their own practice. If you are a parent, teacher or other educator, these ideas are not intended to take the place of treatment by a certified clinician. Read full disclaimer here.