Speech and Language Therapist – How To Choose The Best One?
If your child has symptoms of delayed speech development you are probably concerned. The first step is to talk to the pediatrician about your concerns. The pediatrician can tell you if speech development is progressing normally. If there are no medical causes, like chronic middle ear infections or deformities, ask for a referral to a speech and language therapist. Early intervention speech therapy yields the best results for everything from stuttering in children to fluency disorders like apraxia.
Of course, the pediatrician’s recommendation is a significant factor in choosing a speech and language therapist, but what can you do if that therapist does not accept your insurance, is not taking new patients, or has a long wait for a first appointment? Here are some things that are useful in considering which speech and language therapist is best for your child.
1. Check to see if the therapist is certified by a professional organization such as the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association.
2. Make sure there is an audiologist available who will check to see if your child has hearing problems.
3. Ask to have a consultation appointment with the speech and language therapist before your child is evaluated. Observe his or her interaction with your child. The therapist-child relationship is essential in therapy.
4. At the consultation, consider your level of comfort with the therapist. Are things explained clearly? Do you feel comfortable with the therapist? The therapist will be instructing you in how to practice with your child, so this relationship is also very important.
5. Ask about age appropriate speech therapy techniques.
With early intervention, therapy, and diligent practice at home, you can expect significant improvement in your child’s speech and language development.
6. Investigate the therapist’s education, training, and experience.
7. If you know other children who are seeing a therapist, ask the parents about their experience.