Top 6 Questions to Ask Your Child’s Speech Therapist
1. Ask the speech therapist what his credentials are and where he received his education and training. Ask him how long he has been practicing and whether he has experience working with schools. Speech therapists should have a master’s degree, if not a doctorate. Master’s degree programs provide speech language pathologists with the practical experience working with children under the supervision of a licensed practitioner.
All practicing speech therapists should be licensed by the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA). They should have earned the Certificate of Clinical Competence (CCC). This certification indicates that the therapist has a certain level of expertise, will follow ethical standards, and is committed to ongoing professional development.
2. A speech therapist should always have a plan for treating each patient, depending on that patient’s specific strengths, needs, and problem areas. Ask the therapist about the treatment plan. He will likely put together the treatment plan after assessing your child. Your child’s treatment plan may include other specialists, such as a psychologist. Ideally, the speech therapist will also work with your child’s teachers to identify the most effective communication methods.
3. Ask the speech therapist about activities you can do with your child between therapy sessions. This will help accelerate your child’s progress. Effective speech therapists will provide you with homework to do with your child.
4. Ask the therapist whether you can observe the sessions so that you can utilize the therapy techniques more effectively at home. If your child is distracted by your presence, sit outside the room with the door ajar to listen to the sessions. If the speech therapist is uncomfortable with you monitoring the sessions, consider looking for another therapist.
5. Request progress reports. Frequently, the speech therapist should let you know how your child is progressing. Ask him how long he thinks your child might require therapy. Feel free to request written reports, although some therapists might charge you for the time.
6. Ask the therapist what the fee is for the initial assessment, as well as the fees associated with treatment. Ask whether there are any additional fees, such as meeting with your child’s teachers. Determine whether you will be billed monthly, or whether you have to pay after each session. Ask whether he takes your child’s insurance and whether he is willing to write to the insurance company in the event of a rejected claim.