Speech-language pathologists (SLPs) and other clinicians will often give clients homework to complete before the next session in order to increase carryover. Carryover, or the idea that skills learned in the clinic will be transferred or generalized out of the clinic, is important in a variety of therapeutic disciplines. Increased practice and more time spent focusing on a skill will improve a child’s abilities and rate of mastery.
- Homework: Completing homework sent home by a therapist is a great way to spend structured time practicing a skill. Oftentimes, this homework will include words or sentences with target sounds for children working on articulation. Homework may including writing prompts for older clients, or worksheets to practice goals outside of the clinic.
- Book reading: Books can be a great way to increase carryover. For children working on language goals, possibly including sentence structure, wh-questions, sequencing, auditory comprehension and a variety of other goals, SLPs may recommend that parents simply read to their children. During book time, parents will be encouraged to stop frequently and ask children questions about characters, events, etc. This can help children improve their language skills and be a fun activity for parents and children!
- Craft projects: Parents can use craft projects to increase carryover outside of the clinic. Working on crafts can help target following directions, appropriate sentence structure, as well as focus on a specific theme to increase vocabulary.
- Modeling: Parents simply modeling their own appropriate speech and language for children can help children work toward their goals. If parents, for example, practice using a slow rate, children will learn to copy their parents’ rate of speech which may increase intelligibility.
- Recasting: Parents can recast their child’s utterance by correcting and emphasizing changes for any errors noted. For example, if a child says, “he walking,” parents can recast by saying, “You’re right! He IS walking.”
Helping children with carryover outside of the clinic will help progress through goals in the clinic. Frequently working on target words/sounds and other areas throughout the week will help children improve faster and meet their goals!