This advice-column-style blog for SLPs was authored by Pam Marshalla from 2006 to 2015, the archives of which can be explored here. Use the extensive keywords list found in the right-hand column (on mobile: at the bottom of the page) to browse specific topics, or use the search feature to locate specific words or phrases throughout the entire blog.
Getting a 2-Year-Old to Cooperate
By Pam Marshalla
Q: My son is 2-years and 5-months. His therapist seems frustrated by his stubborn personality and his continual effort to get out of doing his speech cards. I know we can help him more if he would only try. Can you suggest anything?
It sounds like the therapist is trying to work with him as though he were four or five years of age. He’s only two and a half! Children this young should balk at doing speech cards. Since when did it become normal for a two-year-old to want to sit down and repeat words with cards, especially a boy?
Figure out what he wants to do, and fit the speech work into that. For example, if he likes to play with cars and trucks, build a road with the cards on which the vehicles can drive. Give him each card one at a time as he names them. Play with the cars on the “road” for a moment before you request him to say another word to get another card. Make this work and play together, with a greater emphasis on the play.
Also, make most of the word practice consist of words he can say very well, as well as words he says incorrectly but the best he can. Spend less time correcting him and more time rewarding him for what he is doing. He should turn around.