As the parent of a child with communication challenges, you want the best care and treatment. Knowing how to find that type of care is the first step in building a therapy program that addresses their unique strengths and needs. Finding a speech therapist — also sometimes called a speech pathologist — is an important part of building a treatment team for your child. But what should you ask when you’re looking for a pediatric speech therapist?
Speech Therapy Interview Questions
While it might seem strange to think that you are interviewing a pediatric speech therapist, it’s important to remember that this person will have a profound effect on your child and their development. Most children have speech therapy once a week, so your child will spend a great deal of time with the speech pathologist. The following are just a few questions to ask a speech pathologist during your search:
- What kind of training and experience do you have working with children like mine?
It’s important to know if your potential speech therapist has experience working challenges similar to the ones your child faces. For example, if your child is hard of hearing, you’ll want to ensure their therapist has worked with hard-of-hearing children before. You’ll want to know if they have experience with sign language or computer-based communication if those are things you’re seeking. You can also ask if they tailor their treatment to your child’s specific age or interest.
- What are your realistic goals for my child?
The most effective and successful speech therapy treatment is based on both your child’s strengths and their challenges. Learning about those unique elements of your child, including how well he or she can hear, is vital to crafting a customized treatment plan. Give your therapist an idea of what you see in your child, and ask for how you could add to their work in the home setting. Prioritizing your child’s goals is the first part of finding speech therapy solutions to their challenges.
- How often will my child be tested on those goals?
The follow-up question to ask here: how will we measure these goals, and how will I be updated? Make sure the frequency of when you’ll be updated on your child’s progress and the method of communication meets your expectations. Frequent meetings can provide you with suggestions on how to help reinforce what is being learned in speech therapy.
- How will your speech therapy work with or compete with their regular schooling?
Ideally, the speech therapy used with your child will support their regular schooling. The best speech pathologists are aware of the methods used by the schools nearby. If they aren’t, be sure to choose a speech therapist who is willing to work with your child’s school. Please remember that school based goals and out patient therapy goals are very different, even if the common goal is to increase speech. Good communication between all therapists and carry over at home will prove to be the most effective at meeting goals.
Here are a few starting points to touch on when searching for your child’s pediatric speech therapist:
- You should ask your speech therapist what type of experience they have working with children like yours.
- You can identify and analyze your child’s goals along with your speech therapist, and set a schedule for how those goals will be tracked.
- You can establish how speech therapy will work with their schooling.
At Infinite Therapy Solutions, we have more than 20 years of experience in providing services such as speech and language therapy, occupational therapy, behavioral therapy and physical therapy to children up to the age of 18. Contact us today to learn how we can help your child.