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How to Choose a Speech Therapist That is Right for You
by Stephanie Barry, M.S., CCC-SLP of Independent Speech, LLC.You are interested in beginning speech therapy services (for you or a loved one) but want to make sure you are receiving the best possible services for your specific needs. Asking a few simple questions can help alleviate any concerns you may have and make you feel more comfortable with your choice of speech pathologist.
- What age groups they work with. Some specialize in certain age groups which may or may not meet your needs.
- If they have experience working with others who have your diagnosis (stuttering, apraxia, ALS, etc) or if they specialize in any area(s).
- How scheduling and payments word. It is helpful to find out how these things are handled prior to beginning therapy. For example, are you able to reschedule due to illness or vacation? Do you pay by the session or by the month?
- How progress is reported. It may be helpful to know when and how you will receive updates in regards to progress to help you track therapy.
- If they provide practice activities. These are activities for you to complete between therapy sessions. They help you continue to work on the things learned in therapy which aids in progress.
- Ask any questions that pertain to you specific needs or concerns such as about what happens in therapy, if they are wheelchair accessible, if you can bring a companion to help learn the strategies to help you practice, etc.
- ALWAYS ask if they are certified by ASHA (the American Speech-Language and Hearing Association) and licensed by the state. All legitimate, qualified speech pathologists will hold these credentials.
After speaking with the potential speech pathologist, ask yourself some questions to determine if you wold feel comfortable working with this person. Remember, speech therapy is a process thus developing a good working relationship is very helpful in fostering success. These questions may include things like:
- Did the speech pathologist answer my questions completely?
- Did the speech pathologist answer my questions in a way I could easily understand?
- Did I feel comfortable asking these questions? Was I given a chance to ask all my questions?
- Was the conversation enjoyable?
Taking the time to find the right speech-language pathologist will help you feel confident that you are receiving the best possible services for your needs! Body Content
Disclaimer: Internet Special Education Resources (ISER) provides this information in an effort to help parents find local special education professionals and resources. ISER does not recommend or endorse any particular special education referral source, special educational methodological bias, type of special education professional, or specific special education professional.
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