How do you know if speech therapy is working?
How do you know if your child is getting the best speech therapy possible? How can you be sure of the quality of the services you receive?
You can confirm that your child is getting the best speech therapy possible by considering The Three Ms: Methods, Motivation, and Mastery.
Speech therapy is anchored in an accurate evaluation, appropriate activities, and strong research-based methods. Is speech therapy based on a deep understanding of the child’s strengths and challenges? Make sure you understand the reason for the speech therapy and the goals of therapy. Ask your therapist what techniques or methods are being used and why those particular techniques were chosen. Ask what research or evidence is available to support the techniques used by the speech therapist.
There are many therapy approaches and your therapist can tailor the approach to your child. There is no one perfect approach for all children. You can work together with your speech therapist to design an effective treatment plan.
Take note of the actual speech therapy sessions. Are you welcome to observe and/or be involved in the therapy? If not, why not? Do you feel comfortable and believe that your therapist respects your family values and culture? You should end each session with an understanding of what the therapist suggests for you to work on between sessions.
Your child ought to have fun for at least most of the session. People don’t easily learn new skills when they are uncomfortable or under duress. While therapy sometimes requires stretching a child’s ability to handle an increased expectation, these moments are usually effective when surrounded by other moments of joy. Children learn best in an atmosphere of delight. What delights and engages one child may create discomfort in another child. Are the (carrier) activities for the speech therapy engaging and personally relevant for your child?
Does the speech therapy change depending on the mood, behavior, and performance of your child? A seasoned therapist is often responsive and fluid during a session to take advantage of dynamic learning opportunities that emerge during therapy.
Is your child making progress in speech therapy? Can you and your child take pride in new skills and successes? Other family members and friends should see growth and blossoming abilities. The new skills learned during speech therapy should be easily seen throughout other aspects of your child’s life. You ought to see the results.
Speech therapy can be an unexpected journey that a family embarks on with uncertainty and hesitation. Equipping yourself with a guide helps make the journey more pleasant and enlightening. You can use the three M’s as your guide: Methods, Motivation, and Mastery.