Five Back-to-School Tips for Parents

July 10, 2015

Editorial Contacts:
Stephen Betzen, Office Manager, (214) 646-1570,
Cliff Pearson, Communications Coordinator, (214) 646-1570,

Five Back-to-School Tips for Parents of Kids in Speech Therapy


back to school(DALLAS, July 10, 2015) – With a new school year just around the corner, many parents’ minds turn to their children’s back-to-school needs. This is especially true when their children are in need of reading or speech-language assistance in school. The staff at Dallas Reading and Language Services recommends the following to parents with children in therapy:

1. Help Your Child Prepare

A child going back-to-school might be anxious to know what to expect. Telling a story is a good way to introduce your child to day-to-day school experiences. Show pictures of the school and share information about what will happen each day, such as riding the bus, going to the cafeteria, etc. Make use of open houses or welcome back events to visit before the first day of school.

Just as importantly, instill in your children a positive attitude and the resilience to not give up. Use affirmations. Tell your children they are smart, that you are confident in their ability to learn, and that they can make use of extra help when it’s really needed. We adorn our office with the affirmation: “I am smart, I can learn anything. No stinking thinking.”

2. Make Contact and Communicate

Parents should make a point to contact their child’s teacher and keep in touch with the speech-language pathologist and other professionals who will be working with the child. Parents could keep in contact with the therapists throughout the school year, by keeping a notebook, e-mailing, calling, or meeting with the therapists regularly.

3. Review Progress

Parents should familiarize themselves with the goals set for their child in their child’s Individualized Education Program (IEP). It’s not uncommon for an IEP to be written so that it spans a long period of time. Parents can help school professionals determine if and when changes to this plan are appropriate. Some children may have surpassed certain goals due to developmental progress, and it’s also possible for some children to regress a bit during the summer, and need to re-learn skills previously mastered.

4. Set Homework Goals

Because a child’s speech therapist will only be working with the child for a limited number of time per week, it will significantly help the child’s progress if the parent were to pick one or two IEP goals to work on at home. Parents should make sure to check with their child’s speech therapist to see which goals he or she is working on in therapy and find out how to help the child practice at home.

5. Team up the Therapists

If a child is getting private speech therapy in addition to school-based speech therapy, it is very important that parents ask both of the therapists to collaborate. The parent will need to give permission for the private speech therapist, and the school-based therapist, to speak together, but it is a good idea for parents to make this happen. Teamwork will help the child progress faster and will allow everyone involved in the child’s therapy to problem solve together to help the child succeed.

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Dallas Reading and Language Services is a provider of speech-language therapy and reading services to the Dallas community, employing licensed Speech-Language Pathologists and SLP Assistants.