As a parent, it’s anything but pleasant to encounter a situation in which childhood a speech and language therapist becomes necessary for your own child. Despite the fact that paediatric speech and language development issues are extremely common and generally of no real cause for concern, you still get the feeling that you are the only one in the world affected in such a way and that your child has been dealt an unfair hand.
Of course, common sense argues otherwise and just as soon as things get underway, it quickly becomes much clearer just how approachable and in many ways pleasant the process can be. Younger kids in particular have for the most part no real idea as to what’s going on and so are considerably less anxious about therapy sessions than their parents – thus why it’s crucial not to give them a reason to feel anxious. Any sign of fear and worry from you will undoubtedly be picked up and mirrored by your child, which is why it’s a good idea to ask plenty of questions and put your own mind at rest, in order to help ensure the same for your child.
So with this in mind, what exactly are the kinds of questions you should be asking when heading out for speech and language therapy with your child for the first time?
Can You Tell Me About Your Experience?
Well, first of all and before actually agreeing to their services you should be prepared to ask them exactly where their experience lies and how qualified they are. You have to remember that with your child’s development and wellbeing on the line, you have the right and the duty to be as pressing as you like when it comes to these kinds of questions. All the certification and impressive qualifications in the world are all well and good, but not if they aren’t backed up with plenty of experience in the field. Ideally, you should be looking for someone with specific focus in the required area – not simply a ‘jack of all trades’ who dabbles in a bit of everything.
What’s the Usual Approach to a Case Like This?
A good therapist will never make false promises or try to predict the future outright when prompted – the unique nature of all cases makes this all but impossible. Instead therefore, it’s better to ask them how exactly they go about the investigation and resulting treatment process when presented with a case similar to that of your own. You’re not looking for any kind of guarantee of miraculous results, but rather an insight into what they do, how they do it and whether or not it’s an approach you’re happy with.
Do You Record Your Training Sessions?
This is technically optional as it doesn’t say anywhere that you simply must obtain recordings of each session carried out. However, the world’s best therapists insist that is can be of great benefit for parents to gain a comprehensive insight into what happens during the training session, without actually having to be there. The presence of the parents can influence what takes place and potentially get in the way of the child’s success or otherwise. As such, they’ll more often than not be asked to step out for at least a period of time, during which video or audio recordings may be made.
Will I be Able to Help at Home?
As already touched upon, it is common to assume that the therapist will take care of most of the work, though in fact it is the parents that will play the biggest role in the process. The reason being that while a therapy session may be necessary once or twice per week for any given period of time, parental interaction with children goes on continuously day in and day out. As such, it is of the utmost importance to speak to your child’s therapists with regard to what exactly you can do at home to help.This will of course be covered comprehensively by any good therapist, though just to gain an understanding of what you will be doing, it is a good idea to bring up this question early on.
Do You Have References?
Last but not least, it is also highly important to carry out additional checks in regard to the therapist’s background, just to ensure that they are in fact all they appear to be. The very best way of going about this is to ask them to provide feedback from past or present clients, or to put you in touch with those that they have helped before. This will never represent a problem for those with a long history of successfully helping clients with their problems.