Questions To Ask Speech Therapist

Find out the important questions to ask speech therapist here.

What to look for in a speech therapist will depend on the personality and needs of your child. Below, I outline some key questions to ask a speech therapist before you get started.

These questions apply more to private practice, hospitals, and clinics than schools. Within the school system (early intervention, early childhood, and school), you may have less choice. But, there are some GREAT questions to ask right from the start! 

1. Logistics

First things first, consider all the logistics  These simple considerations can make or break a therapy program. 

  • Location: Pick a therapist that lives in your area. Make sure it is convenient to get there. There will be less cancellations on your part in the future.
  • Money: Are you going to pay out of pocket? What are the fees? Does your insurance cover anything? Check with your insurance first!!
  • Hours of Operation:What are the speech therapist's hours? Do they work for you? 
  • Cancellation Policy: Cancellations do happen. Read the policy carefully and be comfortable with it. However, don't plan on cancelling too will your child get better?!

2. Credentials

It is important to ask questions about the speech therapist's credentials and experience.

  • Are you ASHA (American Speech-Language-Hearing Association) certified? 
  • Are you licensed?
  • How many years of experience do you have?
  • What ages and disorders have you worked with?
  • Do you have areas of expertise?
  • Most important: What is your therapy's philosophy? 

3. Private or Public?

Research options in your area. Start at your pediatrician's office and your local public school. Word of mouth is a powerful tool as well.

  • Benefits of private clinics: You have more control. You can pick your time, place, and therapist. Parents tend to be more involved.
  • Cons of private clinics: Expensive. Insurance doesn't always cover services
  • Benefits of schools: Services are free. Goals relate more to school curriculum. Many professionals are on your child's team.
  • Cons of schools: You have less control over who is your therapist. It is harder to qualify for services. Your child may be seen in larger groups for less amount of time.

Consider these factors and ask around before making a decision. But...don't wait too long. You can always change your plan!

4. Parent Involvement

This is the most important question of all questions to ask speech therapist. Speech therapy is changing for the better. Research now shows how crucial parent involvement and daily practices are for progress. Below are questions to ask the speech therapist regarding this:

If your child is under 5 years old:

  • How are sessions run? 
  • Is there a home program? What does it consist of?
  • How frequently do I receive progress reports?
  • May I watch sessions? 
  • May I be in the room so I can learn techniques to practice at home?

If your child is over 5 years old:

  • Are you willing to regularly contact my child's teacher to collaborate on progress and goals?
  • How frequently do I receive progress reports?
  • How often are goals updated?
  • How do you measure progress and need for further assessment?
  • May I watch sessions? 
  • May I be in the room so I can learn techniques to practice at home?

Make sure your are comfortable with the answers given.

5. Last considerations

Remember, you, the parent, will do most of the therapy at home. Find a speech therapist who will teach you EASY techniques for working with your child at home.

Be comfortable with the speech language pathologist. Make sure you feel comfortable expressing your needs, worries, and concerns. Communication between therapist and parent is IMPORTANT!!

Write down questions to ask the speech therapist before you go.

Go with your gut. You are the expert on your child. Don't forget that!

Further Questions...

Feel free to email or contact us with any further questions. We are happy to help!! 

If you have any other great questions to ask speech therapist, please check out our forum!

Bridget is an ASHA certified, practicing speech-language pathologist. She is passionate about providing parents with information on child speech and language development as well as provide functional, easy activities to do at home! Parents have the power to make a real difference. Follow Bridget at Facebook and Pinterest for more fun!

Author of  child language development eBook series

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