Are you concerned your child may have a speech, language, or feeding disorder?
Has your pediatrician or other health care provider suggested you speak to a speech therapist for children?
If so, you may find that your child’s treatment involves you just as much as them.
Here at Voz Speech Therapy, one of the speech therapy services we offer is speech therapy coaching for parents and caregivers.
What Is Speech Therapy Coaching For Parents & Caregivers?
If you’re a parent or primary caregiver for a child, it should come as no surprise to you to learn that children aren’t always cooperative.
Toddlers tend to be more impulsive, seeking out novelty and excitement as they explore the world around them. They want to learn about things, and they want to do that by interacting with them.
So when it comes to doing speech therapy exercises, children aren’t always the most compliant on their own.
And that’s just for the children old enough to understand the exercises they’re given.
Infants and younger toddlers often haven’t developed the language skills necessary to understand speech therapy.
That’s where you come in.
Speech therapy coaching for parents and caregivers is a speech therapy approach designed to empower you, as the child’s primary caregiver, with the tools you need to help your child overcome their speech, language, or feeding disorder.
What Does Speech Therapy Coaching For Parents & Caregivers Look Like?
If, like most people, you’re new to speech therapy for children, you may be uncertain about how the entire process works. Even if you’ve had speech therapy for adults to treat your own speech or language disorder, speech therapy for kids works a little differently.
So let’s take a look at the process.
Speech Therapy Assessment
The first step in any speech and language therapy treatment is to perform a speech therapy evaluation and screening.
During this assessment, your speech therapist will assess your child in order to discover the root cause of their speech or language issues.
From there, your child’s speech therapist will meet with you to discuss your family’s situation, the results of your child’s assessment, and some realistic goals to achieve.
The goals you set could be based on addressing current issues, or anticipating future issues based on your child’s unique speech disorder.
You will also discuss the frequency of both your child’s speech therapy sessions, and your speech therapy coaching sessions.
After the assessment phase, your child’s speech therapist will put together a plan designed to help you to help your child. While there are set categories of diagnoses for speech and language disorders, they affect each child differently. So even if your child has been diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder or a speech sound disorder, for example, the way it affects them will be different from the way it affects other children.
Your child’s plan will include addressing specific problematic behaviors, as well as what behaviors to replace them with.
Your child’s speech therapist will spend the time with you to understand how you can implement these strategies.
You’ll have a chance to practice implementing them with your child’s speech therapist, who will give you feedback and help you understand how to implement them most effectively for your child.
Monitoring & Pivoting
It’s not just about teaching you to implement the plan and then leaving you to it. While we recognize how important your role is in your child’s development, we also recognize that you’re not trained to be a speech therapist.
Your child’s speech therapist will continue to work with you, monitoring your child’s progress and providing suggestions for how to improve your approach.
Through reviewing your child’s progress, your pediatric speech therapist will be able to help you pivot your approach. This can also include reviewing how you’re implementing the exercises and strategies reviewed during the planning phase, how you can improve, and in some cases providing an alternative approach.
As you collect data and provide your speech therapist with feedback on how things are going, they will help you to troubleshoot and improve your child’s results.
Why Use Speech Therapy Coaching For Parents & Caregivers?
As mentioned above, speech therapy coaching for parents and caregivers is helpful for when children can’t or won’t comply with speech therapy treatments. However, there’s more to it than that.
When children develop their speech and language abilities, they mostly do so through watching and emulating the people around them. As your child’s primary caregiver, that’s you.
At a young age, treatments from a speech therapist can only go so far. As your child is going to be picking up their speech and language skills from you, it’s important for you to understand how to recognize the problematic habits they develop and intervene to change them.
You will have far more opportunities to interact with your child in a way that addresses their speech and language concerns than your speech therapist does. As a result, it makes a lot more sense to train you, as your child’s primary caregiver, in how to correct their behavior.
Book Your Appointment With Voz Speech Therapy Today
If It seems like your child is struggling to develop their speech, language, or feeding skills, it can be quite an alarming experience.
You might feel overwhelmed, stressed out, wishing you could do something about it.
Fortunately, you can.
Through speech therapy coaching for parents and caregivers, your pediatric speech therapist will be with you every step of the way.
They will teach you how to address your child’s problematic behaviors, and give them the greatest shot at developing their communication skills.
If you notice your child is struggling, don’t delay. Early intervention speech therapy can dramatically improve your child’s results.
Book your appointment today with Voz Speech Therapy to find out more.
Clear, confident communication is possible. Voz Speech Therapy can help.
Book a consultation today to find out how.