Does your child need speech-language therapy? If this is your first experience with speech services, take a look at the top therapy-related questions parents have answered.
Is Speech Therapy Common?
According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's National Health Interview Survey, in the 12 months prior to the survey, eight percent of American children ages three through 17 years had a communication disorder. Of these children, 55 percent received therapy or some type of intervention service.
What Type of Speech Therapy Do Children Need?
The answer to this question depends on your child's individual communication needs. Speech-language pathologists (or SLPs) can help children with fluency (such as stuttering), articulation, language comprehension, voice/vocal tone, swallowing disorders, and other similar voice, language, and communication-related issues.
Where Can a Child Get Therapy for Speech or Language Disorders?
Again, an SLP is a professional who provides therapy and related services. Your child can get speech services directly from a therapist at home, at school, or in their office.
Other places that may offer therapy services include children's hospitals and specialized speech, language, and hearing clinics. The specific site you choose for your child's treatment depends on their needs, the services offered, and your comfort level.
How Long Will Therapy Last?
The specific time your child will therapy depends on several factors. These include your child's needs, the reason for treatment (diagnosis), the therapist's treatment plan, and the rate of progress. If your child has multiple needs/other diagnosed disorders, therapy may take longer. The same is true for severe speech delays and other serious language or communication issues.
Do Children Need Consistent Therapy?
Speech therapy isn't a one-time service. While some children may progress faster than others, it's likely your child will need to participate in consistent therapy sessions over time. These sessions help the SLP to assess your child, create a treatment plan, and provide the quality of therapy your child needs to see lasting results.
If you're not sure how much therapy your child needs (or how of they'll require therapy), ask the therapist. While the SLP will need to see how quickly your child progresses to get a better picture of their therapy needs, they can review the expected course of treatment.
Do Some Children Need Other Types of Therapy?
It's possible your child may need more than just speech and language therapy. Some types of disorders may also require other types of therapy, such as physical or occupational services.