FAQ’s – What do Speech Therapists Do?

What can I expect on my first visit to the clinic?

Plan to arrive a few minutes early for your first visit as you will be asked to complete a few basic forms before you are seen. The first session will be all about the client and clinician getting to know one another and the nature of the client’s impairments. This is a perfect time to ask the clinician questions about goals and to express your major concerns. Please note that for children more often than not a client’s first session will be more relaxed than subsequent sessions, as the clinician will be introducing themselves to your child and letting them get used to coming to therapy. For adult clients, the first session typically involves developing a treatment plan to best target the client’s concerns.

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What does speech therapy for young children look like? Are the therapists just playing with my child throughout the session?

In children ages 1-4, much of the therapy that is conducted with your child will resemble basic play time. This is called child-directed play therapy. Our clinicians are trained to observe the child and then follow their lead during sessions in order to correctly engage them in therapeutic exercises. It is important to remember that our clincians are always trying to elicit specific responses from your child that coincide with their language and speech development. So what may look like basic playtime is actually far more complex and thought out than it may appear.

Are parents allowed to observe sessions?

Yes, all of our parents are welcome to sit in on the therapy sessions with their child. However, after your child has become comfortable during sessions, their therapist might request to see your child without you present. This is simply because oftentimes children can respond differently without familiar people present and we are able to observe them and their language and speech capabilities in a more unique and novel environment.

How long will my child need therapy?

This question is difficult to answer and, to be honest, there is no “right” answer to it. Speech therapy is highly individualized and dependent upon the personality and present skills of the child. Time frames are highly variable and completely dependent on how well the child is responding to the therapy. Some children are able to complete their goals within a very short time and some others might take much longer than expected. It is important to be patient with both your child and the clinician treating them as often time treatment of specific targets just takes a longer period of time.

Progress will also depend a lot upon the child’s parents and how much follow through is being provided at home. Be sure to implement the tasks the clinicians suggest you implement at home consistently and complete homework tasks sent home with them? Are you bringing your child to therapy consistently and not missing sessions?  All of these things play a large role in the progress your child will make during therapy.

Define the difference between an SLP (speech-language pathologist) and a SLPA (speech-language pathology assistant)

Speech therapists (otherwise known as SLPs) are certfied professionals who have completed 2-years of graduate level coursework in the area of communication sciences and disorders. They have their Master’s degree and most have completed a large amount of supervised clinical hours prior to graduation from their program.

SLPAs are assistants to SLPs and have received their Bachelor’s degree in the area of communication sciences and disorders. By law, they are required to have completed either 70 supervised clinical hours or 9 months of full-time supervised work within a therapeutic setting before they can be licensed to work in the state of California.

SenseAbilities employs highly qualified SLPs and SLPAs. Each of our therapists has completed their respective degree and is licensed through the state of California. Please note that regardless of their degree or title, all of our cilnicians are some of the best in their field and are selected to work within this clinic very carefully. They are all exceedingly capable of providing the best possible therapy to your child by utilizing up-to-date and well-studied therapeutic techniques.

What if I have to cancel an appointment?

A 24 hour notice must be received for any missed appointments. If an emergency arises, a phone call at the earliest convenience is requested. After 2 (non-consecutive) missed appointments without notification, the client will be removed from the schedule and will not be returned to the schedule until you contact SenseAbilities.

How do I need to reschedule an appointment or schedule a makeup session?

Contact the SenseAbilities front desk. Someone will assist you in rescheduling your appointment or scheduling a makeup session.

Do I have to make appointments weekly?

The day and time of your session remains the same unless otherwise discussed.