Depending on your circumstances, you may have a speech therapist assigned to you, or you may have the ability to seek out your own. Whether you are searching or working with one currently, I compiled a list of what to look for in a quality speech therapist. In my opinion, these suggestions could be applied to many other service providers, as well.
And, coming at you list style, my friends. You know I love a good list!
A licensed speech therapist
So, I know this is an obvious one. But, always double check to make sure your speech therapist has the proper license in your state. Most speech pathologists also are certified with the American Speech-Language and Hearing Association.
A “just right” approach
Speech therapy should be fun! It should also challenge kids at just the right level to make progress on their goals. Therefore, a good speech therapist will try to find that “sweet spot” that gives a child a little push without making them feel too frustrated or unsuccessful.
A flexible treatment style
After some time, if a client is not making adequate progress, a good speech therapist should be willing to take a step back and re-evaluate their approach with a client. He/she will provide new suggestions or talk to the parents establish a new plan of care.
Someone who considers your kid’s strengths and interests
Speech therapy is hard for many kids. It’s asking them to work on things that may not come naturally. Look for a therapist who builds on your child’s strengths and interests. Does your child love superheroes? Legos? Those interests can easily be incorporated into their therapy time and can help with how you work with your child at home.
A speech therapist who approaches each day as a new day
Occasionally, a therapy session does not go as planned and a child has a rough time. Maybe he was tired. Hungry. Pushed too hard. For whatever reason, a child may have a difficult session and be unhappy about it. A quality speech therapist does not hold that against a child. Ever–and is happy and excited to see your child every time he walks through the door.
Someone who works with parents
Therapy does not end in the speech room. It should extend to the home environment, as well. Search for a therapist who is willing to work with you by providing suggestions for home and offering feedback/advice related to your child’s communication. On occasion, the speech therapist may even incorporate you into a session or two. Or, at least part of a session.
Please feel free to email me if you have any additional questions or comments.