We work very closely with the families of our clients; after all, we see them weekly. Families have great questions, but believe it or not, sometimes we are asked questions that don’t have an answer. The most frequently asked:
“When will my child be done with therapy?”
This question is difficult to answer because there are many variables that affect the length of time your child needs to be seen by the speech therapist before meeting their goals and getting discharged. Some variables that affect how long your child may need speech therapy are the reason for the speech delay/type of disorder, the severity of the disorder, age of client (early intervention in many cases is beneficial in reducing overall therapy time), motivation of the client and parental involvement. It could take a few weeks, a few months or a few years.
Sometimes this question is asked during the first visit, and it is very hard to determine how quickly the child will progress without knowing the child. Once they have been seen for a while, the therapist may have a better idea of how quickly the child is meeting goals, at what pace they are learning, and how many more goals they will have to meet until they are done with speech services.
Although there is no definitive answer to tell you when your child will be done with speech therapy, there are things you can do to help your child’s speech therapy progress.
Sit in during the sessions, at least in the beginning, to get an understanding of what the therapist is doing so you can replicate similar techniques at home. It is important to be involved in the process.
Ask, and you shall receive
Ask questions! Do not be afraid to ask what the speech therapist is doing or why they are doing it so that you understand what your child is working on and how you can help at home.
10 words a day keeps the SLP away
Do the homework/follow through with suggestions at home. Even working with your child 5-10 minutes per day will help significantly.
It would be nice if we could determine a discharge date at the beginning of therapy, but there are too many variables preventing that from happening. By following the above tips, you can maximize your time during the speech sessions so that you can help your child most successfully at home.