There are many reasons that you might take your child to see a speech therapist. They can help your child become a better communicator and work through difficulties they might have such as stuttering or limited vocabulary. Here is what you can expect from your child’s first speech therapy session.
During their first session your child’s speech-language pathologist, or SLP for short, will assess your child to identify the areas of communication that might be impaired or delayed. The SLP may also discuss their treatment plan with you at the time of the evaluation or follow up with you at a later time to discuss the results of the evaluation and their recommendation. At the evaluation, it is important that parents share their concerns and bring specific examples of how their child struggles with speech and language skills.
During the Session
The bulk of a speech therapy session will be different exercises to practice communication skills based on the area(s) of need as noted in the treatment plan. Speech therapy can cover different areas such as articulation therapy, oral motor therapy, and language intervention. The techniques used for articulation therapy and oral motor therapy are specifically for helping children who have difficulty, for example, coordinator oral motor movements for speech . In language intervention, a SLP will use exercises that are structured as games and play activities to encourage your child to use language to communicate. Through this, your child will build the ability to use language to achieve a purpose like sharing with a friend, having a conversation, or expressing wants and needs.
There are many cases that you may be invited to join your child’s session. One reason that parents are encouraged to participate is to help the child feel more comfortable, especially if they are younger. Also, you will learn how your SLP is teaching your child so that you can practice with them at home. Regular practice is critical for your child’s success with speech therapy. Their sessions are typically 30 minutes to an hour each week, and your child will need to practice a real-world application at home and in the community in order to develop their communication skills in multiple settings.
The Connections Therapy Center
The Connections Therapy Center serves families of children and adolescents with disabilities and special needs. We are a team of experts in the fields of pediatric speech, occupational therapy, speech-language pathology, and behavioral sciences. As a team, we offer intensive hands-on therapy for children and adolescents, as well as informative and useful resources for families. If you are interested in learning more about what we can do to help your family, visit us online or give us a call at (202) 561-1110 (Washington, D.C. office) or (301) 577-4333 (Lanham office). Want to get more information on how to help your child thrive? Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Pinterest.