Condition: Low Motivation/Participation
Sometimes we have clients who are less than motivated to participate with us. This can happen for a variety of reasons and there are many different things we can do to engage this hard-to-reach clients. Take a look at some of our suggestions below:
Finding Intrinsic Motivation:
Many children can be motivated to work if we can tap into something that they are interested in or motivated by. In order to do this, we must start with something that is important to them. Something that they want to accomplish or feel compelled by. Then, we can find out how our communication goals can support that larger goal for the client. Sometimes, this may mean focusing on a slightly different skill than we originally wanted so that we can get the client’s buy-in. This is admittedly easier to do with older clients but younger clients can work to find their intrinsic motivation as well.
This no-prep kit will walk you through helping a client find internal motivation to improve communication skills by identifying the importance of his/her goals.
This easy packet will ask the client a series of guided questions to help him/her understand what’s important to him/her and how speech sound therapy fits into that.
Finding Better Reinforcers (External Motivation):
Sometimes, intrinsic motivation is hard to come by so we must rely on outside reinforcers. Many children will work for an external motivation, such as a toy, game, food item, etc. We’ll call these “reinforcers”. The key is to finding the right reinforcers for each child and then helping them understand that they must do a little bit of work in order to receive the reinforcer. This can be done using a visual aid such as a “first, then” board. (see next section)
Find out how you can conduct a reinforcer probe to figure out which items are the most motivating for a child. This is great for a child with autism or other engagement difficulties who can’t just tell you what he/she likes.
An hour-long webinar recording about using play to promote language development. Play can be helpful for clients who are resistant to more direct therapies.
Other Tips and Tricks:
Here are some other ideas that can help with getting clients motivated and participating!
None of us conduct speech therapy in a silo. Involving and working with parents and teachers can give us access to additional information and strategies to help us motivate the client.