when will my child be done with speech language therapy

When Will My Child Be Done With Speech-Language Therapy?

Society as a whole is goal-oriented; as human beings we want to have a plan for the future. The unknown is anxiety-provoking, and people want straight answers. Therefore it is no surprise that a common question when a child is first recommended for speech-language therapy is how long will my child need speech-language therapy? The tough answer to this challenging question is there is no scientific way to determine a child’s timeline for speech-language therapy. However, there are a several components to speech-language therapy that can facilitate greater progress in therapy, possibly resulting in faster discharge.

These Components Will Help Determine How Long a Child Will Need Speech-Language Therapy:

  • Early identification is a key component for success in intervention. It is highly recognized that when speech and language disorders when will my child be done with speech language therapyare identified and treated as early as possible, there is a better prognosis. Developmental milestones can be helpful in identifying children who may be in need of speech-language intervention.
  • With any speech-language disorder there is a spectrum of severity that can occur. Often with a more severe speech-language disorder, therapy will be more intensive and may require a longer treatment period. Looking at the percentile ranking of your child’s score on a standardized test is helpful at determining where your child’s skills are in relation to the typical population.
  • There are several components of a therapy plan which can affect the rate of progress. Receiving consistent and frequent therapy can both positively impact a child’s progress. The greater amount of time a child is spent working on a skill, the faster that skill is likely to improve. Additionally, completing home programs or home activities given by your child’s therapist will facilitate carryover of the child’s targeted skills into other environments.
  • Lastly, every child is different in their areas of need for speech-language therapy. Therefore, each child’s therapy approach will be unique to him or her. A child’s diagnosis will ultimately affect what skills will be targeted and how many target areas there will be. Concomitant issues may also affect a child’s therapeutic approach, resulting in additional goal areas to target through therapy. The presence of multiple diagnoses does not necessarily mean slow progress, but may correlate with the reality that there may be more goals to be met before discharge.

This list is by no means all-encompassing of components which could facilitate faster progress in speech-language therapy. Overall, it is important that the child, family and clinician become a team to target that child’s speech and language needs. Then as a team, goals can be addressed positively in a variety of environments and communication situations.

Click here for more help understanding a speech-language evaluation.

5 Uses for a Large Floor Pillow

As I mentioned in my previous blog “how to make a large Floor Pillow”, there are several different reasons that therapists use floor pillows during your child’s therapy sessions.  Floor pillows are a wonderful tool and provide a relaxation spot for children of all ages. Below are several ways your large floor pillow can be used with your child at home:.

5 Uses For  Large Floor Pillow:boy reading on giant pillow

  1. Kid sandwich: have your child lay in the middle of the pillow, either on his stomach or on his back. Either fold the pillow in half over your child, or place another pillow on top of your child (if you have two). Apply gentle consistent pressure onto the pillow, to feel like a ‘good squish’. Your child can then request to have harder squishes (more pressure) or softer squishes (less pressure). This is a great calming and self-regulation strategy, which can be useful when your child’s body is moving too quickly (to slow him down) or too slowly (to ‘wake’ him up).
  2. Jumping into the pillow (proprioceptive input): place the pillow at the end of a hallway or across the room, and then have your child run towards the pillow and jump into the pillow (kind of like a ‘cannon ball’). Similarly, you could have your child do an animal walk to get over to the pillow (e.g. bear walk; crab walk; wheelbarrow walk), which would provide more strengthening and proprioceptive input.
  3. Quiet spot: a large pillow can be the perfect place to ‘take a break’. It can be used as a quiet spot for your child to read a book or listen to calming music to relax and unwind. It can also be a designated spot for your child to take some deep breaths when he is feeling frustrated or overwhelmed. Try to work towards having your child recognize when his body needs a break, and have him request some quiet time in a large pillow. This helps to work on body awareness and self-calming.
  4. Pillow mountain: a pillow mountain is a fun way to work on strengthening and balance. It is especially beneficial when using more than one pillow; however, one pillow will work just fine. If using more than one, place the pillows in a line, overlapping each other a little bit to form a ‘mountain’. Have your child climb from one side of the pillow mountain to the next by either walking, crawling or using animal walks. You can also add in a board game by placing the game pieces at one side of the mountain and the game board at the other side. Then have your child cross the mountain in order to retrieve the game pieces; moving back and forth will also help to work on his endurance.
  5. Heavy work (pulling pillow across room): have your child pull the large pillow down a hallway or across a room using both of his hands together. This helps to work on bilateral skills (using both hands together) and also works on upper body strength. Similarly, this type of activity qualifies as ‘heavy work’, meaning that it provides a high amount of input for your child’s body, and can be calming and self-regulating for your child.

While many materials used in the clinic during your child’s therapy session cannot always be replicated at home, a large floor pillow can be integrated into your daily activities! There are several different ways in which you can use a large floor pillow with your child in order to help him with a variety of skills and purposes. Feel free to reach out to your child’s therapist for more ideas or take a peak at the floor pillows used around the gym next time you are at the clinic!