WHY DO SPEECH THERAPY?
Effective communication is one of the most important aspects of childhood and adult life. It enables us to convey thoughts, converse with others and build confidence and relationships.
Intervention is most effective when done early before compensatory behaviors become ingrained. It is much easier to fix a small problem than to correct a habit that has grown over years.
We also offer speech therapy in Russian! You can translate this page to Russian using the button in the top right corner or the tab at the bottom of the page.
COMMON SPEECH DISORDERS
TECHNIQUES AND METHODS
WHAT TO EXPECT
Evaluation & Plan of Care
Your first session may need to be an evaluation. An evaluation conducted within the past 12 months is needed to establish goals for therapy. It will give us the baseline from which we will be working. It will also lead to a Plan of Care. The Plan of Care (POC) will include information about your child’s current abilities as well as goals that we will be working on to improve your child’s communication skills.
Parents can provide their child’s school, hospital, and/or previous private practice evaluation report as a means of generating speech goals, if available. Parents will also be asked to fill out a child intake packet to help ensure the report is complete and your input about what is important to your family has been collected.
Speech Therapy services will be provided based on goals agreed upon by both the SLP and the family in order to best serve your child.
THERAPY SESSION STRUCTURE
Sessions are usually 30 minutes in length. The first 5 minutes are used to review homework and generally check in with family and child. Most of the session is used to work on goals directly, with family member(s) participating or observing. The last 5 minutes are used for clean-up/transition and to review skills/strategies the family should work on with the child until the next session.
Parent involvement in sessions, and between sessions, is crucial for the child’s progress, as children spend most of their time with their parents, not with their therapists.
Approximately every 3 months, or after 10-12 sessions, a progress report will be provided with information about the child’s goals, progress toward those goals, and recommendations for next steps. If continued speech therapy is recommended, an updated POC will be provided.
Talk Play Learn offers the option of conducting sessions via teletherapy. Your speech-language pathologist (SLP) will meet with you through the HIPAA-compliant secure Zoom videoconferencing platform to provide both direct therapy and parent coaching. Just like with in-person sessions, parents continue to be a big part of the therapy session.
Teletherapy sessions continue to center around working with the family to improve the child’s communication skills through playing games, watching videos, reading books and using the child’s interests to engage them.
Once it is deemed appropriate to have in-person sessions, the family and provider may choose a hybrid version, where the family spends a number of sessions in the clinic, and a number of sessions are delivered via teletherapy. If it is appropriate, services can be delivered completely via teletherapy.
Requirements for teletherapy
- Consistent, and reliable internet connection. Being able to plug directly into the modem is ideal.
- Tablet or computer that has a microphone and camera and is charged.
- Quiet space in the home with minimal distractions where the child and the parent can sit comfortably.
- Good lighting, with a wall behind the child (or a window if the curtains can be drawn).
- Adult present or nearby throughout the entire session to facilitate.
- Toys/Materials needed for session if planned with therapist in advance.
- Snack and a drink available to the child during the session.
Some reasons families may choose teletherapy are:
- Therapy delivered in your home. There is no need to figure out logistics of travel and childcare for siblings.
- If someone is a little sick, there is no fear of spreading germs.
- Children may feel more comfortable communicating while in their own homes and able to use their own toys.
- Therapy happens in an environment where the child spends most of their time.
- Parent participation, which is crucial for progress, is built in.
- Ability to video portions of therapy and review or refer back to videos for later practice.
- Secure platform that ensures privacy and confidentiality.
Situations when Teletherapy may not be a good choice:
- Children who are not able to stay in one place may have difficulty attending.
- Family may not have access to necessary technology (strong internet connection and a laptop, tablet, or large-screen smart-phone).
- No one is available to be nearby to help the child engage and complete tasks and trouble-shoot any technology issues.