Before we discuss the benefits of in-home speech therapy, we’ve provided a quick definition of speech language therapy below.
What is Speech Language Therapy?
Speech Therapy is much more than just helping someone speak. The American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA) states that “Speech-language pathologists, or SLPs, work with people who have problems with speech, language, thinking, and swallowing.“ Speech Therapists also work with many aspects of communication, voice disorders, cognition, social-language, and much, much more. Speech-Language Pathologist, Speech Pathologist, Speech Therapist, SLP, ST – the name is interchangeable.
What are the benefits of speech therapy at home?
Research tells us that therapy provided in a child’s natural environment is ideal. A “natural environment” is the place where a child spends most of their time. Home is a “safe space” when engaging with a new people and activities. A trusted environment can make a child feel more confident, which positively influences their ability to successfully participate in therapy.
EVERYDAY TOYS AND ROUTINES
Speech language therapy in the home uses functional objects and surroundings to implement therapy. Functional objects and environments refer to everything your child frequently sees and uses throughout their day to day routine. When working with a child in their own home a therapist can use your child’s toys, typical routines (e.g., meal time, play time, daily ‘chores’), or everyday objects during a therapy session. Parents and children are then easily able to replicate and practice the skills they learned throughout their week.
As parents juggling multiple schedules, taking time to travel to and from a hospital or clinic off the plate can alleviate stress and make scheduling so much easier. Eliminating all the elements involved in getting your child out of the house often enables children to approach therapy feeling calm and ready. Therapy in the home yields fewer cancellations, allowing for consistency and thus successful therapy.
When working with your child at home a therapist has the ability to develop rapport with your child and family. TherapyWorks therapists often keep in touch with their families long after a child has met their goals and “graduated” from speech therapy. The relationships that are formed are one of the most rewarding aspects of individual therapy at home.
Typically a parent, guardian, or caregiver observes or participates in sessions, allowing the therapist to discuss goals and progress in real time. Your child’s speech language pathologist demonstrates strategies and plans; ensuring that everyone is working together to help you child achieve their goals.
When the family is involved, your child essentially has access to more therapy through collaboration and home practice. Familiar environment with familiar routines, allow the therapist to show you how to build these techniques into everyday activities (e.g., morning routine, bedtime routine, meal time).
IS SPEECH THERAPY WORTH IT?
In short, speech therapy is always worth it. Before a child begins therapy, they will be evaluated by an American Speech Language Hearing Association (ASHA) certified pediatric speech therapist to determine whether therapy is recommended. The evaluation includes both a subjective and objective assessment of your child’s skills. If speech therapy is recommended, your child’s speech language pathologist has verified the presence of a cognitive, communication, and/or swallowing disorder. Speech therapy is medically necessary to “prevent, identify, evaluate, and treat speech-language, swallowing and cognitive-communication disorders.”
If you or your pediatrician have a concern regarding your child’s communication skills, it is important to pursue an evaluation to determine whether therapy is recommended. Particularly in pediatrics, the earlier the child receives services the better.
TherapyWorks provides in-home speech, occupational and physical therapies in Michigan, Illinois and Ohio and teletherapy nationwide. Complete our “get started” form to learn about the experienced, licensed and certified speech language pathologists in your area.