Choosing the right Speech-Language Pathologist for your child
Depending on the needs of your child you can expect to work with their therapist for several months or several years. I personally strive to meet the individual needs of each client I work with for however long we work together. I know nothing can replace the personal connection you make when you find the 'right' therapist for your family, however there are some guidelines to follow while looking for that perfect fit.
Area of expertise
All ASHA certified SLP's recieve the same education and training in speech, language, cognition, and swallowing. Once licensed many theapists choose to specalize in their preferred areas of treatment through continuing education courses and additional training. If your child has a rare disorder, such as Apraxia, or uses a specific communication device, such as ProLoQuo2Go, finding an SLP who specializes in your childs exact needs can lead to better outcomes from therapy.
All SLP's utilize evidence based practices to design a plan of care for their clients. That being said therapists may choose to use speficic pracices and techniques that may or my not work for your child. If your child has sensory needs it may be important to find a therapist who will coordinate with your childs OT or incorproate movement activities into the speech session. If your child is aversive to touch finding a therpist who is comfortable providing verbal and visual feedback will make therapy a positive experience for your child.
Therapy is a often a long term commitment whether it be for months or years at a time. It is importnat to find a therapist whose location fits the needs of your family. Talk with your therpist about scheduling and location options: will they come to your house or your child's school, are they flexible about taking time off for family vacations, do they have appointment times that fit around your schedule? These are importnat questions to answer up front so you don't run into complications at a later date.
All SLP's are human and will have different personalities. While all therapists are trained to asses their client's needs and provide appropriate care there is something to be said for finding the right personality. If your child needs firm boundaries an easygoing therapist may not be able to push them to their fullest potential. Likewise if your child is shy an extremly outgoing therpist may overhwlem them to the point of shut down.
The most important part of choosing a therapist is finding someone who wants to help your child succeed just as much as you. I provide pediatric speech-language therapy services in Naperville Illinois and the surrounding areas with the goal of helping your child communicte with confidence. If you have concerns about your child call today for your free phone consultation.