5 Benefits of Incorporating Movement into Speech and Language Therapy

Speech Language Pathologists sometimes find themselves doing therapy or assessments in all sorts of different places. One of my favourite places outside of class or a therapy room is in the gym.  It is a great place to incorporate movement into therapy.  If not in the gym, I still build in movement as much as possible.  Why?

1. There is a growing body of research that says improving a child’s fitness can help learning.  So why not incorporate some movement activities into therapy if it will help learning instead of more sedentary activities.

2. Children are moving less and less these days.  Some schools, districts or countries are sacrificing gym and/or recess to focus more on academics. Even in preschool, children are expected to sit longer, do table work and pay attention longer.  This can be a struggle for many children who have a hard time keeping their bodies still and pay attention.  With those children, I find those children have better focus and work harder when I get them to move.

3. Gym activities and games are a great way for children to functionally build their knowledge and use of verbs and prepositions.  Children need to physically experience different prepositions and verbs to better understand their meaning.

4. Gym activities are also a great way to functionally work on following directions. Children are given many directions during gym class. Work on activities that support what they are doing in gym class.  

5. Many movement activities can be quickly done (e.g. run to the wall and back).  This allows for many opportunities to practice their speech and language skills. These activities are typically easy to prep. If you are curious about the activities I use, check out this blog post. 

Overall this has been very successful and just as importantly the children have fun.

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