Getting your child ready for school in the morning can feel like a race against the clock. For children with language delays, you may feel that you are constantly giving reminders of what needs to happen next. Maybe you find yourself breaking down the steps even further to complete specific activities. Perhaps your child is capable of following the morning routine on their own, but needs reminders to move at a faster pace. Try some of the tips below to reduce the stress and increase independence in the mornings!
Tips for a smoother morning routine:
- Follow the same routine each day. This allows for consistency and predictability for you and your child.
- Give one direction at a time. Multi-step directions may be challenging in the morning while under a time crunch for both the child and parent. Instead of saying “get your shoes and coat,” ask your child to “get your shoes.”
- Leave extra time. This allows your child an opportunity to complete the task themselves leading to an increase in independence.
- Use simple, but specific language. Reduce frustration by setting clear expectations. Instead of saying “get dressed,” try “Put your shirt on.”
- Use visual supports. Visual supports can be used both for each step in the routine or steps within each activity to increase understanding.
Citra was awarded App of the Month by Columbus Speech and Hearing Center.Description
The Citra app can be used to create a visual and timed schedule for you and your child to follow. Practice using the scheduler with your child, slowly working toward the child recognizing the task associated with each picture. You can encourage your child to “beat the clock” by finishing the tasks before the time is up. If your child is having difficulty completing the steps within a task, make step-by-step visual directions, such as the steps to brushing teeth. Continue working with your child to teach them how to complete each step in the routine as the picture on the schedule comes up.
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By: Jessica Trick, M.A., CCC-SLP
Jessica Trick, M.A., CCC-SLP is a pediatric speech-language pathologist. She has been providing individual, group, and school based therapy to toddlers, preschoolers, and school age children at the Columbus Speech & Hearing Center since 2011. She enjoys working with a variety of clients including children with Autism, Down syndrome, and children with language and articulation delays.
She received both her Bachelor’s degree in Speech and Hearing Science and her Master’s degree in Speech-Language Pathology at The Ohio State University.