Answer: I generally find it is useful for parents to be present during clinic based therapy sessions. You will see the sorts of activities that I am doing, the targets I am working on with your child and the language I use when explaining activities to them. You will also see how your child responds and any potential difficulties I encounter. This means that you will know how to do similar activities at home between sessions and will know how to encourage your child when they have difficulty.
In some cases, children may work better without you there, in which case you are welcome to leave the room whilst they have one to one therapy, and return at the end for feedback on their progress and to collect homework activities. If your child is seen in school then providing the school is happy, I would be pleased to meet with you following the therapy session, or I can contact you by telephone or email following the appointment.
Answer: Therapy is far more effective if follow up activities are carried out between sessions. I will give you activities similar to those carried out during the session and will demonstrate how to do these. Therapy sessions are just a very small part of a child’s life, so in order for them generalise what they have learnt in the clinic room to everyday life, they need to practise activities at home on a daily basis, ideally for around ten minutes per day. If your child also attends school or preschool then I am happy to send a copy of homework activities to the educational setting for staff to work on there.
Answer: Frequency of therapy sessions will depend on your child’s need, the type of therapy we have recommended and your wishes. We can offer weekly or fortnightly therapy, or on a less frequent basis if you would prefer, such as monthly or six weekly sessions. Some parents whose children are in school prefer termly or half termly visits to provide school staff with updated language or speech programmes.
It is considered good practice to share reports with other professionals involved with your child such as GPs, Health visitors, School, Consultants etc. However, I will always ask for your consent before distributing reports.
Answer: You do not need to bring anything to the initial assessment although it is helpful to bring any reports from previous speech and language therapists or other professionals if you have any. You will also be asked questions about your child’s development, including birth information, so you may find it useful to bring your child’s red book with you. If your child is particularly shy or anxious in new situations then it maybe helpful to bring a favourite toy or book with you.
Answer: Speech and language therapy is available free from your local NHS service, and you are still entitled to this service even if you choose to have private therapy as well. Private speech therapy tends to have no waiting list (or a very short one) so your child can be seen sooner and more frequently.
To find your child’s local NHS speech and language therapy service, contact your GP or Health Visitor.
Answer: We will use a mixture of formal and informal methods. Formal assessments usually involve us working one to one with your child, asking them to follow instructions or answer questions. It is important that when your child is being assessed that you don’t help them or rephrase the speech therapist’s questions as this will not give an accurate picture of your child’s abilities. Informal assessment is usually done by playing with your child, observing your child playing alone or with you, or by listening to your child talking to you.