What should you expect from your child's first speech therapy appointment? Whether your child is nervous or you just want to prepare, take a look at what you need to know about a first-time visit with a speech language pathologist (SLP).
Before your child's appointment starts, it's likely you'll need to fill out paperwork or provide some types of documentation. These could include:
- Insurance information. If your insurance covers this service, the SLP's office will need your child's card and any other additional documents (such as a referral from the pediatrician, if needed).
- Health history. You may need to provide the office with any applicable health or family information.
- Past tests. Results of past speech and hearing tests can help the SLP better understand your child and their needs.
If you're not sure what to bring with you (or send ahead of time), ask the office's staff. The right paperwork prep steps can save valuable time during your child's initial visit.
Allow Appointment Time
A first-time SLP appointment may take significantly longer than your child's typical pediatrician well-visit. The overall time the visit takes depends on:
- Your concerns. The SLP will ask you (or your child, depending on their age) about speech and language concerns, types of treatments, and whether you have questions about the process.
- The assessment itself. Even though your child may have already had a speech or language assessment in school or at the pediatrician's office, the SLP will provide a much more in-depth evaluation.
- Answers. The SLP may provide you with information on the assessment and recommendations for treatment.
Each speech therapy patient is an individual. This means the appointment may vary, depending on your child, their needs, and the SLP's process.
Learn About the Treatment
There isn't just one universal speech-language therapy treatment for all children. The specific treatment plan the SLP recommends depends on several factors. These include:
- Your child's needs. The assessment will reveal areas your child needs to work on. The SLP will create an individualized plan that addresses these.
- The frequency of therapy. Does your child need weekly therapy or another schedule? The SLP will provide you with this information when they detail the treatment plan.
- Your child's goals. Some children have their own goals they want to work on. If your child is old enough to express these to a speech language pathologist, the therapist will take these into consideration when creating a plan for treatment.
From the initial paperwork to the evaluation and a treatment plan, your child's first speech language therapy appointment includes several steps. Don't worry if these steps seem overwhelming. The SLP will guide you through the process and make your entire family feel at ease.
For more information, contact professionals with services such as speech therapy.