Speech Language Pathology is the evaluation, diagnosis and treatment of communication related disorders. Speech Language Pathologists (SLPs) are certified and highly trained to provide a range of clinical assessment and therapy services to individuals with communication challenges.
Individuals with a wide variety of communication challenges can benefit from speech language pathology services, including those with sound or language disorders, learning disabilities, hearing impairments, pragmatic difficulties, and cognitive impairments.
Early detection and intervention is important and help should be sought as soon as you become concerned. If you aren’t sure, don’t delay at discussing this with your pediatrician or with us at Acorn & Oak. Speech development is critical between one and three years of age. We are available to answer any questions you have so you don’t have to worry.
Yes, you should have your child evaluated if any of the following apply:
- Your child is not producing speech sounds that he/she should be able to produce at his/her age.
- Your child’s pediatrician, teacher, babysitter, or another less-familiar person has expressed that he/she is having difficulty understanding your child’s speech.
- You, another family member, or another more-familiar person has expressed that he/she is having difficulty understanding your child’s speech.
- You can understand what your child says, but others cannot.
Yes, we provide free screenings (short informal assessments) to help us determine if speech and language is developing normally, or if further testing is required.
One of the first and most important decisions you'll make is in choosing your speech therapist. When choosing a therapist there are a handful of important things to consider such as credentials, experience and rapport.
In addition to the right therapist, the right therapy setting is also an important consideration. There are pros and cons to the different environments where therapy can take place, such as schools, clinics, and home.
Early on, you will probably want to ask about eligibility for services. Much of the direct testing will involve answering a certain number of questions incorrectly before discontinuing the assessment. Because of this, parents and caregivers sometimes feel their child or family member did worse than they really did.
Starting with the results of testing helps you understand next steps. If your child or family member is not eligible, your speech pathologist may recommend some things you can work on at home.
If your child or family member is eligible, ask your speech pathologist to explain the eligibility criteria they used. Your speech pathologist may use various data points, for example a percent delay, or standard scores or percentiles depending on the assessments conducted.
Regardless of the criteria, the one common aspect is that it is always compared to norms, which in children, for example, would be based on age.
After understanding the test results you’ll likely want to know how long and how often therapy will be administered. While you might think more is better, that’s not always the case.
Depending on the type and severity of the issues, your speech pathologist may recommend fewer but longer sessions that include warm up time. Some individuals may benefit from many little breaks between activities or goals/areas of focus. In other cases, shorter but more frequent sessions may be recommended – for example if there are attention issues or for patients who fatigue easily or have a harder time retaining information.
It’s always ok to ask your speech pathologist to explain the reasoning for how often and how long they recommend therapy.