Screen Time Strategies for Parents and Speech Therapy Sessions

Hey speech friend! 
Working in Early Intervention can present a LOT of unique challenges, and with the experiences I've had, there's definitely times where I've had to do some out of the box thinking 💭
For instance, screen time is often a “hobby” or daily routine for many children. As speech therapists, it's not our job to judge a parent's choices in parenting (unless it's very obviously a harmful act, which should be reported). While screen time is not a go-to therapy activity, it can still be viewed as a daily routine that has opportunities for caregivers to grow language
Screen time is used in many households and for a variety of reasons: some children may use it as a form of regulation, it's a bonding activity for siblings and families, and it's a way for parents to decompress or get things done at times too. 
Ready to incorporate a little screen time into your sessions? 
Not sure about using screen time in your sessions? Read on to see if you can use some of the strategies I find useful for the TV loving toddler! 👇🏼
Screen time -- but with a little bit of language targeting in there! 🎯
Why would we even address this?  
TV time is present in many homes and gives us a great way to show caregivers how they can incorporate small changes in their daily lives that will increase their child's language and cognitive skills! 
Strategies that Work:
Narration: Turn off the sound and narrate the events of the show yourself and encourage the child to join in. This activity enhances their storytelling abilities, comprehension skills, and ability to organize thoughts coherently. If the kid isn't fully sold on it, try using silly language or change the story completely! 
Sing Along: If the show features songs or musical segments, encourage the child to sing along. Songs are a great way to incorporate language, so if the TV is already doing that, lean into it! 
Role-playing: Act out scenes from the show with the child, taking on different character roles. Encourage them to use dialogue from the show or create their own lines. I love this strategy with a gestalt language user if they are already using lines from the show or movie too! 
Active Watching: Encourage your child to actively engage with the show by asking them to identify colors, shapes, objects, or emotions displayed on screen. 
Follow-Up Activities: After watching the show, engage in related activities such as crafts, cooking, or games inspired by the themes or characters. This reinforces vocabulary and concepts learned during the viewing session in a hands-on way.
Try out my Summer Fluency Cards that come in both print & a digital option! 
Going Hybrid with your digital use is a great way to ease into incorporating screen time into your sessions!
"But…it's screen time?!"
I know! And I've yet to meet a parent who didn't use screen time (myself included!) so by changing our mindset on how we approach it, we can further help the families we service. 

Happy speeching!


👇🏼 Save this image to Pinterest so you can refer back to it later! 👇🏼

Leave a comment

Please note, comments must be approved before they are published