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Top 5 Tips for Requesting in Early Intervention Speech Therapy

Jun 22, 2022

If you are an SLP working in early intervention, you know that requesting is a very common strategy and goal used in therapy! We wanted to give you some fresh ideas on how to practice and target requesting with your students!

Tip #1: Containers

Use containers with lids that are difficult for little hands to open. These containers can be play-dough jars, storage containers or clear bins. Clear containers are preferable as the child can see the preferred objects they want inside. This will motivate them to want more. The child can request for "more" or "open" or "help" each time they want an item from the container. 

Tip #2: Toys with Multiple Pieces

I love using toys that naturally have multiple pieces in order to play with them. Some of these toys include legos, building blocks, magnetic tiles, or surprise toys. Hold back the pieces and provide only a few infront of the child. The child will look towards you as they see another piece in your hand that they want. This naturally provides opportunities for you to model or the child to use requesting strategies such as signing "more", pointing to "more" on an AAC mat, or saying "more". 

Tip #3: Preferred Items

Use toys or objects or games in your room that the child is already interested in and motivated by!! Using things that aren't of interest to the child only places a barrier for opportunities to request!

Tip #4: Social Games

Our littles often love social games or movement activities in our sessions. Just the other day, one of my students was sitting on the chair and I had one of his favourite sensory toys in hand. We started playing tickling games where the sensory wiggly worm would come and give him lots of tickles. This social routine became a huge hit as he requested "again", "go", "more" after each tickle the worm gave. I would pause and say, "ready-set-..." and he would fill in the blank "go!!". Any reciprocal back and forth game is a great way to engage a child and encourage requesting (e.g., catching a ball, tickles, pulled on a blanket, etc.).

Tip #5: Toys that Require Help

Wind-up toys are fabulous for requesting! They are often so challenging for our students to use on their own, so it provides several opportunities for modelling requests such as "help", "go", "again". Lock and Key toys are great too for this same reason (e.g., critter clinic, car garage, melissa and doug doll house, etc.). 

Did you find these tips helpful?! We'd love to hear if they did or see them in action in your therapy room! Be sure to tag us on instagram at @playbasedspeechtherapycourse . We also have many more tips and tricks we share over on our blog site: https://www.playbasedspeechtherapycourse.com/blog  as well as in our FREE webinar: https://www.playbasedspeechtherapycourse.com/free-play-based-speech-therapy-webinar , not to mention our entire course provides you with hundreds of ideas you can implement in your therapy room immediately! Stay tuned for our next launch coming early fall 2022!

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