Therapy can be a nerve-racking experience for clients and their families – especially if this is the first time accessing services. It might help to understand the process so you and your child know what to expect.
- Initial Phone Call
- Follow Up & Planning
Initial Phone Call
The process begins with the initial phone call. During this intake phase, the Speech Pathologist will speak to you to get some background information about your child’s strengths and weaknesses, and the concerns that you and/or teacher, etc. have. This can be daunting, but rest assured that the information you give throughout the entire therapeutic process will remain confidential, and you and your child will be treated respectfully.
The next step involves a comprehensive assessment of your child in the clinic. Standardised and qualitative measures will be made, and this process is normally carried out over several sessions. The tools that are used will depend upon your child’s age and level. In some cases, families may wish the Speech Pathologist to speak directly with teachers and other professionals involved with their case. The Speech Pathologist will talk you and your child through the process.
Follow Up and Planning
The Speech Pathologist then writes a report, explaining findings, diagnosis of communication profile, and offering recommendations and strategies. You will be invited back for a follow up talk so you can go through this fully with the Speech Pathologist. This gives you a chance to ask any questions that you may have, and you will leave with a good sense of your child’s communication profile, and what can be done next.
In some cases, your child will be recommended to start therapy. If so, your child will attend sessions either individually, or in a small group with one to two other children. The length of these sessions will be between half and one hour. These will depend on the age and needs of your child, and the Speech Pathologist will guide you through these, and advise you of the service delivery method that will best suit your child. The prognosis for your child will depend of many factors, and the Speech Pathologist will be monitoring and following up with you ongoing.
Any feedback you have can be given to the Speech Pathologist in person, over the phone or via email. Feedback can be given to Speech Pathology Australia via http://www.speechpathologyaustralia.org.au/information-for-the-public