If you have noticed difficulties in your child’s speech and language development that have caused concern, it is wise to seek the advice of a professional. Finding the right speech pathologists for your child is important to their overall experience with that professional and their lifelong success.
You will want to find speech pathologists who are educated in their field and specializes in your child’s type of difficulty, as well as someone they can easily work well with. The key to this is educating yourself on speech-language pathology, and finding ways you can ease any worries and help your child be more relaxed with the process as well.
Typically in your first meeting, speech pathologists will evaluate your child’s communication, feeding and/or swallowing skills to see any overt and more subtle struggles they may have that could benefit from working with a passionate professional.
Given the importance of finding the perfect speech pathologists for you and your family, we’ve curated our top five things to know before choosing the right therapist for you:
1. Speech-language pathologists should share their credentials:
It’s easy to get lost in the alphabet soup that is medical degrees, specialities, certificates and recognitions. Though there are many, it’s always imperative to ensure the minimum. Checking your speech pathologists’ certificates and credentials shouldn’t be a problem at all, and since the best relationships are built on transparency, asking to see or understand credentials is completely natural.
2. Look For the CCC from ASHA*:
We all want the best for our loved ones and ourselves, and that’s why the ASHA certification is important. Earning the Certificate of Clinical Competence-SLP signifies that the practitioner has exemplified the ability to independently provide high-quality clinical services in all settings. Alongside that, the CCC-SLP signifies that the speech pathologist has gone beyond the basic state requirements and actively pursues continuing their education and honing their skills.
3. Find Your Passionate Pathologists and Specialty
Just like doctors have subspecialties and refined skillsets, so do speech pathologists! The job to understand communication and help others overcome their difficulties is always growing and teeming with developments on how to try and better serve children and adults. With this comes professionals choosing to hone their abilities in more specific problems, and to ensure your child can receive the best care possible, it’s important to partner with a provider who is adept at helping people overcome their specific issue!
4. Age Matters:
Remember when you were 5-years-old? Now remember when you were 13-years-old? You were absolutely different in so many ways, and how teachers, parents and adults interacted with you became different, as did your learning style. If we’re always changing and evolving as we age, then it makes sense to find professionals who already have proven track records with your child’s specific age. This will usually help the relationship as speech therapy starts since your speech pathologist will have experience engaging and interacting with your child’s age group!
5. Always Ask For An Evaluation:
Every child is different, and your speech pathologists should be tailoring their solutions, practices and activities to fit within the scope of your child’s needs. While you may come in with an initial concern, a professional evaluation can help you further determine and discover any additional struggles your child may be facing with communication, eating or swallowing. Alongside that, evaluations are needed to understand your child’s development and progress in their journey!
Remember when scheduling to be mindful of the time you schedule your child’s therapy for maximum success. Mornings are typically preferred as after-school evaluation can lead to a child being fatigued which will impact their performance, self-esteem and relationship with their newest life partner for success.
*ASHA is the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association that credentials audiologists, speech-language pathologists, and speech, language and hearing scientists. They can be reached at 1.800.638.8255.
At Greater Learning LP, we’re dedicated to being the premier speech pathologists serving the greater San Antonio area. From toddlers to adolescents, our staff are partners in your success. For more information, to schedule an appointment, or have a phone consultation, feel free to reach us here and call 210.349.1415!
Still want to know more about speech pathology? Check out our post “What is Speech-Language Pathology?”