Frequently Asked Questions About Speech Therapy
In most cases, if you’re seeking speech therapy it’s for the first time. So we usually hear a lot of questions from new patients.
And since people often have similar questions, we may have heard yours before.
Here you’ll find some of the more frequently asked questions we hear at Voz Speech Therapy.
If you don’t see yours here, or you just want some clarification, feel free to contact us – we’re happy to help.
This is a broad question to answer.
If your child has received a diagnosis of a speech or language disorder, then yes of course they should see a speech therapist for children.
However, if it seems like they’re falling behind in their development, it’s a good idea to bring them in for a speech therapy assessment. Whether or not they need speech therapy, we will let you know.
However, if your child has a speech or language disorder, it’s important to catch it early. Early intervention in a speech or language disorder can help your child avoid a lifetime of frustration in dealing with their communication issues.
It’s always best to err on the side of caution in this situation.
The amount of time it takes to address a speech or language disorder varies from person to person.
Some of the factors include age, the severity of the issue, type of issue, willingness to stick with the treatment plan, and family involvement.
Your speech therapist will give you an estimate of how long they believe treatment will take.
Yes, we are licensed by ASHA, the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association, to provide speech therapy services in DC, Maryland, and Virginia.
In order to practice as a speech therapist, you need to hold at least a master’s degree.
Our owner and treating clinician, Ana-Maria Jaramillo, holds a Doctor of Speech-Language Pathology (SLPD) degree from Northwestern University and is one of the few SLPDs in the DC metropolitan area.
Speech therapy sessions are usually scheduled for 45 minutes.
In some cases, specifically if you are seeking early intervention services, it’s a good idea for you to be present during your child’s sessions so you can carry over strategies at home.
However, many children tend to have better speech therapy results when they work with a speech therapist by themselves.
If that’s the case with your child, you may be invited into the session at the beginning and the end in order to better understand that session’s goals and how you can help.
Every child is different, so every child needs a unique approach to speech therapy for children.
For very young children, speech therapists use mostly play based interventions.
This is because young children just don’t have the attention span or the cognitive skills. Additionally, research shows that children learn best through play.
These sorts of play based interventions may include:
Talking and playing
Using games to encourage your child
Using books or pictures to stimulate language
Practicing how to create proper sounds
Helping you, at the child’s primary caregiver, to understand how you can help
For older children, we use a combination of these play based interventions, as well as table based strategies.
The goal is to help your child, but it’s also to make sure their sessions are fun.
After all, kids are more likely to do something if they actually like doing it.
Speech therapy isn’t just for kids. If you have a speech or language disorder yourself that you’d like help with, speech therapy can help.
In some cases, speech therapy for adults is for an acquired speech or language issue.
This means it’s an issue that occurred later in life, rather than something you were born with.
This can include medical issues like stroke, Parkinson’s disease, or multiple sclerosis.
It can also include recovery from accidents that injure your brain, throat, jaw, or other elements of your face and facial structure.
Speech therapy for adults can also treat people with a congenital speech or language issue that was never treated during childhood, but this is less common.
Some of the most common signs you as an adult may need speech therapy include:
Declining ability to produce language
Declining ability to understand others
Others having difficulty understanding you
Declining speech volume, speaking in a whisper
If you or a loved one is experiencing these, it may be a sign of a speech or language disorder.
If you’re an adult and you’d like to seek out speech therapy, the first step is a speech therapy assessment. Once we determine the root cause of your speech or language concerns, we’ll begin treatment.
Everyone’s treatment plan is different, but yours may include:
Exercises to strengthen your oral muscles
Breathing exercises to improve your resonance
Memory and organization exercises
Mindfulness exercises to reduce anxiety