Generalizing outside the Therapy Room

One question that is often asked is, ‘How can we work on our child’s speech goals outside of therapy?’. While doing worksheets for homework can be helpful, another way to target speech goals outside of therapy is incorporating activities into the child’s everyday life. In the article, ‘We left the Therapy Room, Now What?’, Coaching Families on Carryover Skills for Children in their environment’, by Jestina Bunch, Autumn Sanderson, and Ashley Irick,  different activities and strategies one can incorporate into their everyday lives to aid in goal progress are discussed. Some fun and easy ideas from the article are listed below.
-Auditory Skills:
  • Say before you show: make appropriate sounds before showing the associated item(i.e. vroom vroom; I hear a car, where is it?)
  • Pair a movement with the action: use gestures associated with the action (i.e. hand gestures that go along with nursery rhymes).
  • Acoustic highlighting and modeling: model specific sounds along with the item (i.e.  “I see the soap in the bathtub. Look! There is the soap.”)
-Receptive and Expressive Language Skills:
  • Practice following directions by asking your child to complete routines around the house or participate in activities that require following directions (i.e. baking)
  • Practice categorizing by looking for specific food groups at the grocery store (i.e. lets go find the fruit)
  • Practice synonyms and antonyms by commenting on items you see and talking about what is similar or opposite.
  • Practice expanding utterances by expanding one word longer than the request provided (i.e. more—>more milk)
  • Practice using grammatical markers (i.e. plurals, present progressive (-ing), and possessives)by labeling and describing what you see (i.e.  How many cookies do you see? I see two cookies; That boy is running, Those monkeys are swinging; who’s carrot is that? It’s the rabbit’s)
  • Practice reading awareness by reading signs and different descriptors you see in your everyday adventures (i.e. the descriptions of animals at the zoo or road signs).
  • Practice introductions to new people at different places you go
  • Practice turn taking at the park with other kids
  • Model etiquette with peers when out at different places or around the house
Bunch, J., Sanderson, A., & Irick, A. (2022, January 26). We left the Therapy Room, Now What?’, Coaching Families on Carryover Skills for Children in their environment. ASHA Leader. Retrieved February 1, 2022, from

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