Starting therapy for the first time can be an exciting and nervous time for parents and kids alike. Having completed initial assessment and read through your child’s report, you may have just received answers to long-held concerns regarding your child and learnt information about their individual strengths and weaknesses. You might also be wondering what outcomes can be achieved and what you can expect during a therapy appointment. At Active Speech Pathology, there are some general principles that determine what therapy will look like for your family.
What happens in a therapy session?
Standard therapy sessions are typically 45 minutes. Within this session, the following will occur:
5 to 10-minutes: debrief of the past week – how home practise went, what skills you are seeing, what’s going well, what is hard…
20 to 35 minutes: administering intervention – providing therapy, providing parent education, parent coaching…
5 minutes: setting home follow-up – providing home activities, explaining time and frequency of home practice, providing recommendations for home/teachers…
Do I need to be there – why?
While it is not compulsory for all children, it is strongly recommended that parents sit-in on each therapy session to gain the full benefits of therapy. Being present in the session allows you to observe and participate so that you may gain the confidence and skills to transfer these tasks to your home environment. You will also gain valuable insight regarding your child and learn practical ways to support their communication. As therapy tasks progress, you can ask as many questions as you need to understand the nature of therapy and how and why the chosen activities develop your child’s skills.
What about homework?
As Speech Pathologists work on developmental skills, home follow-up of therapy tasks is required in order to achieve progress. The time and frequency will vary depending on the skills being targeted, and the number of goals being worked on. For early speech, language, motor, play and engagement intervention, daily practise is required and is typically recommended to be a minimum of 1-hour (which can be broken up into ~20 minute sessions). For later-developing skills, such as social skills, literacy, handwriting and fluency, practise can vary from daily to once/twice a week and can take 15 to 30 minutes per day. If you have any concerns regarding the frequency and type of homework your therapist is recommending, it is important to bring this up in therapy early – this will allow your therapist to problem-solve with you.
How many appointments will my child need?
The duration of therapy is individual to the child, and varies based on the following factors:
Frequency of therapy sessions,
Completing home follow-up/recommendations.
For mild delays, therapy will take approximately 3 to 6 months (with weekly sessions and consistent home follow-up). For moderate delays/difficulties, therapy will take approximately 12 months (with weekly therapy sessions and consistent home follow-up). For multiple areas of delay, profound difficulties and/or developmental disorders, therapy is long term and can span throughout childhood to support development of skills as your child continues to grow.
For any questions regarding your child’s therapy, it is recommended that you consult your therapist. Asking questions, and understanding your child’s therapy journey is important to your child’s progress. If you have any further questions about the nature of Speech Pathology sessions, do not hesitate to get in touch with us via firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling us on (07) 3103 0776.