Articulation Therapy-Mentally Preparing for Success.

 “If you think you can do a thing or think you can’t do a thing, you’re right.”

Henry Ford

I absolutely love this quote. Simple yet powerful. To me it illustrates why having a proper mindset is critical for success. It makes success appear as a choice. If you think you can achieve success you are halfway to succeeding. If you think you cannot succeed, you have failed before starting. You have to be responsible for your thinking in the matter of success and “own it”, or it will “own you”. This is especially the case when working on articulation with your child. You have to actively manage your attitude and believe in your ability to make a difference.
Parents of children with speech difficulties need to believe they can make a difference in their child’s speech therapy. They need to “Know” in the very core of their being that they hold the key to unlocking incredible results. Parents/caregivers have the most access to their children and as a result are in a position to make a significant difference in speech remediation. Parents need to acquire and execute a plan for helping their children work on their speech development at home. Ideally, a parent needs to be working with a Speech Language Pathologist who see’s the parent/caregiver as an extremely valuable resource that is integral to the therapy process. It is amazing how much a difference it makes when someone believes in you and is supporting you in your success. When this occurs, what is possible greatly expands.
Doubt happens! Parents need to actively manage their doubts. When an inner conversation arises that is preventing you from moving ahead and is causing you to stop pushing on, you need to acknowledge this negative self talk push on in the face of it. The conversation might look like:
·         I am not a professional
·         Am I doing this right
·         I am not making a difference
·         My child will get this on their own
·         I am leaving all the work to the Speech Language Pathologist.
If you start believing in why you can not help the situation, you will be stuck there until your thinking changes. The best way of getting past this is having a conversation with your Speech Language Pathologist. They are your coach and need to be helping you “get unstuck” when doubt sets in. Additionally, you should only work on speech drills that your child already knows how to do and focus on doing them quicker and with less effort. 
In closing, I want to leave you with a couple of tips. When you get frustrated or are hitting your limit you need to stop and take a break. Use this time to regroup and adjust your thinking. Adjust your expectations and work on an easier task to develop success again. Secondly, find some support. You need someone who believes in your goals and can support you in achieving them. You need someone to listen to you and answer your questions. Ideally, this should be your Speech Language Pathologist. If you do not have this type of relationship with your SLP then ask for it. Tell them what you need.
Yours in making a difference,
Marcus Little