3 Reasons We Should Have FUN in Speech Therapy!

3 Reasons We Should Have FUN in Speech Therapy

Clients should have fun during speech therapy sessions as should clinicians.

Compassion-respect

I strive to make my session’s fun, meaningful, and hands-on.

Although having fun doesn’t mean it’s a free for all as high levels of arousal are NOT optimal for learning.

Rather, fun should be purposefully infused into learning so that the client is engaged while actively involved in a meaningful and relevant activity.

Here are 3 reasons WHY we should infuse fun into ANY learning experience:

1. Helps to process information and make connections.

  • According to neurologist Judy Willis, “Neuroimaging studies and measurement of brain chemical transmitters reveal that students’ comfort level can influence information transmission and storage in the brain. When students are engaged and motivated and feel minimal stress, information flows freely through the affective filter in the amygdala and they achieve higher levels of cognition, make connections, and experience “aha” moments.” Stressful learning environments, on the other hand,  have a negative effect.
    “…when stress activates the brain’s affective filters, information flow to the higher cognitive networks is limited and the learning process grinds to a halt.” Think about it. When you’re stressed are you storing, retaining, and recalling information as well as you do when you’re not stressed? Probably not. I recently read an article about how parents should not train their kids, whether it be sleep or potty training, under stressful situations. The following quote from developmental developmental psychologist, Gordon Neufeld, struck a chord with me: “No one can grow to her fullest potential unless they are relaxed.”

2. Having fun assists in storing information into long-term memory.

  • According to research in classrooms, “…when classroom activities are pleasurable, the brain releases dopamine, a neurotransmitter that stimulates the memory centers and promotes the release of acetylcholinem, which increases focused attention.” Focused attention is extremely important in helping us transfer new information from our short term memory to our long term memory.

3. Having fun makes us happy!

  • When we’re enjoying something, there is an increased release of dopamine and endorphins.  This makes us feel better. When we feel good, we’re MORE motivated to attend, interact, problem solve, and try again.

Is your child having fun during speech therapy?
Are you having fun during speech therapy?

Other interesting, related posts:

Incidental Learning and Speech Therapy

Show and Tell in Your Speech Therapy Session

References:

Willis, Judy. “The Neuroscience of Joyful Education.” Engaging the Whole Child 64 (n.d.): n. pag. Print.

Leahy, M. (2014, October 15). Parents, stop “training” your children. The Washington Post. Retrieved from http://http://www.washingtonpost.com/lifestyle/on-parenting/the-co-sleeping-2-year-old/2014/10/14/.com

Long-Term Memory (n.d.). Retrieved from: http://education.purduecal.edu/Vockell/EdPsyBook/Edpsy6/edpsy6_long.htm


Kimberly Scanlon, M.A. CCC-SLP is a speech language pathologist, an author and a mother. As the owner of Scanlon Speech Therapy, LLC, a unique boutique practice in Bergen County, Kimberly embraces individuality and treats the whole person. Her goal is to spread compassion, hope, and some speech, language and literacy tips one moment, one person at a time.  Her first book, My Toddler Talks: Strategies and Activities to Promote Your Child’s Language Development and her second book, Learning to Read is a Ball are available for purchase at online at Amazon and Barnes and Noble.

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4 comments on “3 Reasons We Should Have FUN in Speech Therapy!

  1. Stopping by from #BlogMa. My son does speech therapy twice a week and I definitely think that incorporating imaginative play into his therapy sessions has helped him a lot. He can say way more words than he was saying this time last year.

    • That’s wonderful to hear!! Imaginative play goes a long way is essential to developing language but also not only social-emotional skills. Thanks for stopping by. I wish your son continued success.

  2. Laura Noelle says:

    I think society has twisted the perceived meaning of “fun” to be super high-energy, active, crazy, etc., when really it means actively engaging the mind and body in a task. Everything can have an aspect of fun to it when care is taken to limit things like over-repetition or stressful tasks like extreme time constraints. You make some excellent points!

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