ANSWER: This depends on what you are noticing in the home. A young child (9 months) who is not responding to sounds, alerting to his/her name, showing comprehension of simple words, or pointing to call attention to interesting objects, may be showing early signs of a hearing loss or language disorder. Other general guidelines:
ANSWER: While it is true children show some variation in when they achieve early language milestones, it also is true that a skilled speech-language pathologist can usually identify children who are more at risk for persistent delays, or who are showing signs of more deviant speech language development (sometimes associated with other developmental disorders, such as autism). The earlier these children are identified, the sooner they can take advantage of intensive early intervention programs, often at no cost to families. Thus, it is better to rule out a more serious problem at a young age.
ANSWER: Possibly. While there is no direct causal link between chronic ear infections and speech/language delay, children are generally thought to be more at risk for developing communication impairments with this medical history, and should be closely monitored.
ANSWER: Generally speaking, understanding your child’s current communication level (preverbal, single word communicator, phrase or sentence level communicator, etc.) is very important in terms of what to model at home. Try not to overuse questions to get your young child to talk, but rather model comments about events as they are unfolding. Try to avoid rapid and lengthy speaking turns, and encourage turn-taking. Praise your child’s efforts to communicate using all possible means: gestures, pointing, gaze, and verbal attempts.
ANSWER: YES or NO. Children with recent testing (within the past 6 months) and with speech therapy objectives already in place can often proceed directly to scheduling treatment, provided a copy of recent reports is available. In any event, a consultation will be scheduled to meet with you, your child, and to review reports provided (usually lasting at least an hour). At that time, we will determine whether additional testing is needed, and what course of treatment is recommended, e.g. individual or group therapy.
ANSWER: This depends on many factors such as: severity of the disorder, student cooperation, motivation, and readiness to learn. Family involvement in implementing home practice is another significant factor. In general, children with receptive language problems (difficulty understanding language) tend to require longer courses of treatment, as do children with underlying neurocognitive impairments such as autism.
ANSWER: Most children are seen in our clinic one to two times per week, whether or not he/she is receiving school-based therapy, depending on the severity of the disorder, or what type of intervention program is recommended. More intensive schedules are occasionally implemented as needed.
ANSWER: Sessions are usually scheduled for 30 minutes of direct contact (with 15 additional minutes spent preparing and documenting a session). More intensive schedules are occasionally implemented as needed.
ANSWER: Parents are encouraged to observe therapy sessions, either periodically by accompanying children into the therapy room at least briefly, or by observing through closed circuit video monitoring, if available. Many children perform best when working separately from parents. For those children, parents may be included in treatment sessions for the last 5-10 minutes in order to understand current objectives and home program ideas.
ANSWER: Written progress reports are generated upon parent request, and are charged for at our hourly rate. Progress can also be discussed verbally via face-to-face meetings or teleconferencing (also charged at our hourly rate.)
ANSWER: Most Medicaid funded Insurances cover for speech and language therapy. Unfortunately, very few private insurance companies reimburse parents for speech therapy to treat “developmental articulation disorders” or “developmental language disorders,” limiting coverage to rehabilitative speech therapy (e.g. due to traumatic brain injury, or to treat congenitally related speech problems, such as cleft palate). Children with a diagnosis of autism are occasionally covered for limited services. Check with your insurance provider.
ANSWER: We often experience a high demand for after-school appointments, thus many times have a waiting list for 4 or 5 pm appointments. For those needing consultations or evaluations, or who can schedule morning therapy sessions, it is usually possible to be scheduled sooner.
After scheduling your child’s appointment, please provide any hearing tests, current or previous Individualized Education Programs (IEP)/Individualized Family Service Plans (IFSP), neuropsychological or educational testing, any previous speech and language evaluation reports, developmental evaluations, or any additional relevant information, if applicable.
You may self-refer for a speech and language evaluation if you are having concerns for your child’s language, articulation, voice, or fluency skills. Some insurance companies require that you get a referral or a prescription from your child’s pediatrician.