We're here to answer all of your speech therapy questions...
What is an SLP?
Speech-language pathologists (or speech therapists or SLPs) work to prevent, assess, diagnose, and treat disorders of speech, language, voice, cognition, and swallowing. SLPs can choose to work with a variety of ages from infants to elderly adults. SLPs hold a Master’s degree, are licensed in the state they practice and are required to complete continuing education hours throughout the year. Some choose to obtain a Certificate of Clinical Competence (CCC) from the American Speech, Language, and Hearing Association (ASHA) which is only obtained from attending an ASHA recognized Master’s program, passing a National examination, adhering to a code of ethics, and completing a specific number of continuing education hours throughout their certification.
What is speech therapy?
Speech therapy is an intervention strategy that focuses on improving all aspects of a child's or adult’s ability to understand or use language and/or increase an individual’s ability to correctly produce sounds in a given language. Other areas of focus may include: helping an individual to speak more fluently, or speak with the appropriate tone, volume, and vocal control. Therapy may take place in the client’s home, a private clinic, or in the community.
What does speech therapy look like?
A typical speech therapy session may vary based on the child’s age and interests and can range from 30 - 60 minutes. Typically, for young children the session is play-based because during a child’s early years they learn through play. A therapist may bring toys to the session or use items from the child's home. They may follow the child’s lead to see what they enjoy playing with and build language into the session during play activities and daily routines (i.e. mealtime, getting dressed etc.). Books, songs, movement, and toys may be incorporated into the session to target specific family and therapist goals. Click here to find out more about our therapy services.
I notice other kids my child’s age talking more than my child, should I be concerned about their language development?
Many parents use other children or a friend’s children as a point of reference to what “typical language development” looks like. This can be helpful for parents who are beginning to question if their child may have a delay, but is important for parents to remember that all children develop at a different pace and follow their own path. However, if you notice your child has a difficult time understanding your directions, isn’t using language to get their needs and wants met, or has a difficult time engaging with their peers, it's recommended to contact an SLP. There is no reason to delay intervention if you are concerned about your child’s speech and language development.
My child has a lot to say but it is so difficult to understand. Can an SLP help with that?
Absolutely! An SLP can educate you on what sounds, and sound patterns are appropriate for you child’s age. An SLP can work with your child to teach them how to correctly produce the sounds during conversation and educate you, the caregiver, on how to address your child’s sound errors at home.
What is the right age to start speech therapy?
Now! Research shows that early intervention is key to helping children with language delays and disorders. The longer a child goes without services the more difficult it may be for them to catch up with their peers. If you have ANY concerns about your child’s speech or language development, please contact an SLP. They will develop a unique, age appropriate plan to address your concerns if speech therapy is needed.
Is there anything I can do at home to support my child’s language development?
Yes! Children learn language through imitation. This means that children must hear language from those around them in order to learn language. One of the most helpful things you can do is play, sing, and read to your child from the time they are an infant. Provide descriptions for what you are doing during your daily activities and routines (i.e. dressing, meal time, taking a bath, etc.) and show your child that you are engaged with them throughout your day. If your child requires speech and language services, an SLP can provide you with more detailed descriptions of strategies to implement with your child.
How long will my child be in speech therapy?
This is one of the most commonly asked questions when it comes to speech therapy. Unfortunately, just as a doctor cannot
predict when your child will begin to walk or get their first tooth, an SLP cannot predict how long your child will require speech therapy. Every child develops at their own pace. However, factors such as; frequency of therapy, parent/ caregiver involvement and carryover, and child awareness and motivation can help support your child’s progress.