What does the session cost include?
- Session planning and making of resources tailored to your child
- Travel to and from the session at your home or child’s school
- 45 minutes of direct therapy time with your child
- Planning and preparation of homework activities
- Feedback to parents and education settings
- Referrals to or liaison with other services if required
- Case note writing
- Setting and monitoring goals
- Responding to emails/ phone calls from parents between sessions
What information will I need to bring to the first appointment?
You do not need to bring anything to the initial assessment although it is helpful to bring reports from previous speech and language therapists or other professionals if you have any. At the pre-assessment phone call I will ask questions about your child’s development, including birth history, medical history and educational progress.
How will you assess my child?
I will use a mixture of formal and informal methods. Formal assessments usually involve me 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.
Who will you share reports with?
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.
How often will you see my child?
Frequency of therapy sessions will depend on your child’s need, the type of therapy we have recommended and your circumstances. I usually recommend weekly or fortnightly therapy as in the vast majority of cases this has the best results, but less frequent sessions can be offered if required.
Are parents present during sessions?
I generally find it is useful for parents of young children to be present during home 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 explanation of homework activities.
If your child is seen in school or preschool then I will contact you following the appointment with feedback about the session.
Will I have to do any follow up activities with my child?
Therapy is far more effective if follow up activities are carried out between sessions. I will give you activities that support your child’s goals and the skills we have worked on during the session. Therapy sessions are just a very small part of a child’s life, so in order for them to generalise what they have learnt in the clinic room to everyday life, they need to practise activities at home, ideally on a daily basis. If your child attends school or preschool then I will also provide advice and activities to the educational setting for staff to work on there.
How will you monitor my child’s progress?
Following the initial assessment I will write a set of measurable goals for your child and will share these with you. Each therapy session will consist of games and activities that target these goals in a range of ways. At the end of the agreed goal period (usually a term but this may be flexible depending on your child’s progress) I will informally assess your child’s progress towards goals. I will then send you a summary of their progress and any ongoing needs. If required a new set of goals will then be set.
In addition to this I will regularly monitor the effectiveness of therapy using the Therapy Outcome Measures Scale (TOMS) which gives a score based on your child’s severity of impairment, ability to participate in activities and their wellbeing.
Can I still have NHS speech and language therapy?
You are still entitled to NHS speech and language therapy even if you are having private therapy. To find your child’s local NHS speech and language therapy service, contact your GP or Health Visitor.
Private therapists are subject to the same requirements as those working for the NHS; registration with the Royal College of Speech and Language Therapist (RCSLT) and the Health Care Professions Council (HCPC). We also have the same legal requirements for case note, report writing and duty of care.