Questions to Ask Your Child’s New Cleveland Speech Therapist
When you have a child with speech and communication deficits, it’s important to be a selective consumer of speech therapy services. As a parent, you are your child’s top advocate, and you’re an invaluable part of the “team” that will help your child learn to effectively communicate. It’s important to find a Cleveland speech therapist who is not only qualified, but who clicks with you and connects with your child.
Speech-language pathologists, commonly referred to as “speech therapists” or “SLPs” for short, are experts in communication issues. Some speech therapists work with adults after they have lost the ability to effectively communicate, usually due to traumatic injuries or a medical condition, such as a stroke. At Therapy & Wellness Connection, we work primarily with children (though some adults too) with a variety of delays and disorders, ranging from mild articulation issues to more complex conditions like autism, down syndrome, hearing impairment, motor speech disorders and other developmental delays.
When looking for a Cleveland speech therapist, make sure you choose someone who takes the time to listen to your concerns and thoughtfully answer all your questions.
Some questions to get the discussion going can include:
- What are your credentials and experience? Speech therapists should have at least a master’s degree (except for speech-language pathology assistants, who work under the supervision of a licensed speech-language pathologist). All practicing therapists should be licensed by the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA) and have a Certificate of Clinical Competence (CCC), which indicates a high level of expertise, ethical guidelines and commitment to ongoing professional development.
- What is my child’s prognosis? If your child has just been diagnosed with a condition, and you’re seeking speech therapy services for the first time, you may want to ask your Cleveland speech therapist their clinical opinion of how treatable your child’s condition is. Certain tests conducted by a pediatric psychologist or other specialist may indicate that a condition is severe, moderate or mild, but your speech therapist can give you a better idea of how treatable it is with therapy and some realistic immediate and long-term goals.
- What is my child’s treatment plan? Your child’s treatment plan for speech therapy should be tailored to their individual needs, strengths and problem areas. Some treatment plans include other specialists, such as occupational therapists or registered behavior technicians administering ABA. If your child receives therapy in multiple disciplines, you want a Cleveland speech therapist who is willing to work with the team to help your child achieve their therapy goals.
- In what setting will services be provided? Speech therapy can take place in a range of settings, including clinic, hospital, school and home. However, not all pediatric speech therapy clinics provide services outside the four walls of their clinic. Therapy & Wellness Connection speech therapists come to you – wherever it is most beneficial for therapy to be held. Sometimes, that’s our clinic. Other times, it’s at home or during certain outings. We want to ensure the therapy we provide is carrying over into everyday life. We tailor every session to meet the needs of your child.
- Can you show me the speech therapy techniques you’re using? The therapist should regularly make time to explain how each session went, what was targeted, what challenges were faced and what was accomplished. Many of our therapists will take brief video clips or photos to share with parents and illustrate how the session was structured and how parents can help carry these lessons over at home and in other settings. In some cases, it may be beneficial for parents to sit in on a session or two (quietly, in the background) to observe the strategies.
- Can you suggest other resources in the community for our family? Therapy & Wellness Connection offers a broad range of therapies and services – including summer camps for kids of all ages and abilities, day programs, alternative schooling, equine therapy and more. But we may also be able to recommend other community resources that will help your child excel and thrive.
Our dedicated team of speech therapists is committed to working closely with each family to help every child achieve their full potential. If you have additional questions – please feel free to ask!
Therapy & Wellness Connection – your connection to a life without limitations – provides speech therapy to children in Akron, Brecksville-Broadview Heights and Cleveland. We also offer summer camp, day programs, education services, vocational counseling and more. Call us at (330) 748-4807 or send us an email.
Language and Speech Disorders in Children, U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Development
More Blog Entries:
Top 10 Causes of Child Speech Delays and Language Problems, Sept. 15, 2019, Cleveland Speech Therapist Blog