Better Speech 3 min read

Boo! Halloween with Non-Verbal Kids is a Treat

Tips on how to celebrate Halloween with your non-verbal child in speech therapy for kids.

Halloween is a super fun holiday. How bad can it be to get a ton of free candy? Yet if you are a non-verbal child – one with Childhood Apraxia of Speech, a late talking toddler, or language or speech delayed preschooler in speech therapy for kids – this holiday can be a bit more stressful.

Non-Verbal Kids

Why? Because the one task a child has on this holiday is to knock on a stranger’s door and speak. That can be a little intimidating for a child just starting to work on their speech or language skills. But there’s no way anyone should be deprived of a ton of sugary candy. It’s every child’s right!


Trick or Treat Cards for Kids in Speech Therapy

One of the superhero Better Speech SLP’s has made some cards that can be handed out or pinned to a costume. And there are choices:

Non-Verbal Kids

1. For kids with Childhood Apraxia of Speech – These cards educate your neighbors by (proudly!) letting them know that your child has apraxia and that they’ll be getting their candy no matter what.

2. For non-verbal kids that don’t want to let anyone know their diagnosis but still want to get the credit for making the huge effort to knock on someone’s door to ask for candy.

3. For kids that don’t want to tell anyone they are non-verbal. These cards can be glued back to back and attached to a stick or wand. Show the first side when asking for candy. Show the second side before leaving.

To download your Halloween cards for kids with Apraxia or other non-verbal children, click the PDF link below.

 

Practice Speech Skills with Halloween Candy

Halloween candy can be a great incentive to practice speech skills with your child in speech therapy for kids!

Use “choice” questions to help your child practice his or her communication. A “choice” question is when you give your child two clearly named choices to select from. Here are some examples:

  • ”Would you like to eat some candy or a cookie?”
  • “Would you like to have a Twix or a Snickers?”
  • “Would you like to share some M&Ms or Skittles with your brother?”

It’s best if you show the actual items to your child as you name them, as this reinforces the link between the word and the item. You also want to be sure you are offering two items that are acceptable options (in other words, don’t offer something that’s not okay for your child to have).

Speech therapy for child and adult

You can also help your child practice sounds he or she is working on with Halloween candy. Here are some examples:

  • Ask your child to say “lollipop” to practice the /l/ sound (and a 3-syllable word) before handing them a lollipop.
  • If your child is working on the /m/ sound, ask them to say “M&M” before they can eat some M&Ms.
  • Use any small candy for toddlers to practice early social words like “give,” “more,” “please,” “open,” “lick,” or “chew.” For example:
    • If your toddler reaches for a piece of candy, ask them to say “Please.”
    • If your toddler finished their M&Ms and wants more, ask them to say “More.”
    • If your toddler can’t open their candy bar, ask them to say “Open.”
  • For kids working on the /k/ sound, have them say “candy corn” for every corn they eat or “cookie crumble” for each cookie they eat.
  • Have kids working on the “ch” sound practice saying “chunky chocolate.”

Good letter sounds to practice for Halloween include: H, L, W, N, J (these are the letters in the word Halloween, along with J for Jack-o-lantern).

You can use these examples to practice speech on other holidays with your kids as well, having them repeat “candy cane” to practice the /k/ sound at Christmastime, or giving them hearts that have phrases on them as a reward for practicing that phrase on Valentine’s Day.

Enjoy your SPOOOKY HALLOWEEN 🙂


At Better Speech we know you deserve speech therapy that works.

We have experts in your child’s needs and assign the right therapist; not just the therapist that happens to be in your area. To find out more about our services, contact us to schedule a free consultation and see if online speech therapy for kids is right for your child.