When your child is diagnosed with a speech disorder, one of the most challenging steps can be finding a good speech therapist. On paper, many therapists may appear similar, boasting similar credentials and proper licensing; but anyone who has ever sought medical attention from a professional can tell you that not all doctors or therapists are created equal.
There are many factors to consider when choosing a speech therapist for your child. The first concern should be whether or not the individual has the required educational training. A master’s degree from a program accredited by the Council on Academic Accreditation in Audiology and Speech Language Pathology is necessary, as is a Certificate of Clinical Competence in Speech Language Pathology, also known as a CCC-SLP.
Therapists should also be constantly furthering their educations, staying informed of the latest speech therapy practices. Belonging to professional organizations such as the American Speech and Hearing Association shows a dedication and continuing commitment to the field.
Speech therapists can specialize in differing speech disorders, such as apraxia, sensory processing disorder, or oral motor control. Find out how experienced and familiar the therapist is with your child’s disorder, as well as what sort of challenges or results you can expect through treatment.
Another important consideration is the therapist’s treatment philosophy. Speech therapy can be practiced through several different methods, and it is important to understand your therapist’s approach. One of the most effective courses of action is the implementation of in-home, one-on-one therapy sessions. This allows the therapist and child to focus solely on each other in a comfortable setting. Having a therapist who is open about the child’s progress and encourages the family’s involvement in treatment creates a positive learning environment.
Lastly, a pediatric speech therapist should have a good rapport with children. Choosing a therapist with an extensive background in working with children will help, but meeting the therapist is the best way to get a sense of whether or not the relationship will flourish with your child.
Professionals at Chicago Speech Therapy