Whether it’s back to school time or you are in the thick of it, behavior management is something we always can use some tips and reminders for. When I’m struggling with behaviors, I ask myself what can I change to help a student succeed. Here’s 5 things to consider that might help with behaviors in your speech room:
Setting the environment
- Are there things about your environment you can change? Is it too distracting? Too many manipulatives out? Toys in sight? What about your position and the child’s in the room?
- When you first meet with a new student, try and set those expectations right away. Explain how speech is going to be FUN but that we also have to be a good listener and do our work in order to keep having fun in speech. Sometimes they need one or two reminders about this which is why I like to have a visual posted in my room (i.e. “whole body listening”).
Play Into Their Interests
- This is a big one. Does therapy need to be tailored to interests to keep them more engaged (character, animal, etc.)? Maybe you use stickers or have a prize box that can play into their interests. Maybe you have a token board with a theme of their interest (I use these a lot and find them super beneficial. You can find token boards with over 50 themes HERE).
Meet sensory needs
- Is your room or materials overstimulating? Are they under stimulated and need more input? Think about seating, lighting, noise, fidgeting, and more when assessing what sensory components they may need during speech. Consult with an OT if you need help with this!
Make therapy FUN
- If therapy isn’t fun, they aren’t going to want to participate and you won’t get the behaviors you’re aiming for. Even if the therapy itself can’t be fun, work towards breaks that can be fun.
I hope these behavior management tips have you thinking about how to set up your speech room for success throughout the entire year. Do you have any to add? Leave a comment below!