How to Motivate Resistant and Defiant Children for Speech Therapy

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Summary of Steps:

  1. Take several sessions to build rapport, even if you have already been seeing the child
    • Follow the child’s lead
    • Include his interests
    • Be interested in what he’s interested in
    • Offer choices
  2. Praise the student 4 times for every 1 time you have to redirect, correct, or discipline the child
  3. Start with asking the child to do things that you know he can do easily, even if it’s not speech related
  4. Gradually increase the difficulty level of tasks and include whatever supports are necessary to make the child successful
  5. Use highly motivating reinforcers
  6. Look into Errorless Learning.  You want the child to succeed!
  7. If behaviors do arise:
    • Stay calm
    • Acknowledge the child’s feelings as valid and make sure they know you care that they feel that way
    • Provide a consistent consequence while showing as little emotion as possible
    • Don’t let the child escape the task when behaviors arise
    • Define expectations ahead of time and practice skills if necessary