You’re concerned with your child’s speech or language skills.
So you get the referral from your child’s pediatrician, schedule an evaluation with a Speech-Language Pathologist (SLP), and it’s recommended that your child start weekly Speech Therapy.
- What does a typical session look like?
- Will I be involved during the sessions?
- What am I expected to do in between sessions?
- What skills will my child be working on?
- How long will my child need Speech Therapy?
- How do I know if he or she is making progress?
- Long term goals are the “bigger” goals.
Example: to improve your child’s expressive language skills to a level that’s considered appropriate for their age.
An SLP may estimate your child will achieve a long term goal in 6 months, 1 year, or another amount of time, depending on a variety of factors.
- Short term goals are smaller, specific goals that lead to achieving a long term goal.
These are the goals that the therapist is working on week to week during a session. The therapist may target a few goals (typically about 3 to 4) within 1 to 2 sessions a week.
Understanding words, putting words together to form sentences, using certain types of grammatical markers, or articulating a certain sound are all examples of possible short-term goals in speech therapy.
How does a child meet a goal? When he or she demonstrates that skill a certain number of times or in a given percentage of opportunities, like 80%, the goal is considered met for that session.
The therapist’s goal is typically for the child to meet that same goal for a total of 3 sessions in a row.
The child will improve their vocabulary by imitating 10 words during a session, for 3 consecutive sessions.
The child will accurately produce the /s/ sound in the initial position of words with 80% accuracy over 3 consecutive sessions.
Targeting & Tracking Goals
For younger children, a play-based approach is typically used to work on speech and language goals. In children of all ages, the therapist will likely target a certain goal through games, books, and other fun, motivating activities.
A Parent’s Role
Research shows that parent involvement in Speech Therapy can lead to more success.