6 commonly asked questions about speech therapy

If your child isn’t meeting their developmental milestones, your paediatrician might refer your child to a speech therapist to have them evaluated. Many parents often show up to the appointment not knowing what to expect. Here are answers to 6 questions you might have, prior to your visit: 

What does a speech and language therapist do?

A speech and language therapist (SLT) is a professional who helps people of all ages to overcome difficulties in communication. Here at The Energy Source, we specialise in treating children with communication challenges. An SLT’s scope of practice is broad. Difficulties in expressive and receptive language, social skills, pronunciation, reading and spelling are some of the areas that we commonly treat. Our centre also has therapists who have been trained to conduct feeding therapy for children.  

What can I expect the first session to look like? 

During your child’s first visit, the therapist will usually spend some time talking with you, interacting and observing your child. This is to obtain an idea of your child’s strengths and weaknesses. The speech therapist will ask you questions about your child’s overall development, speech, language, social and everyday routine. This information helps them get an idea of what your child might need. 


Once they have gathered the necessary information, the therapist will conduct an assessment of your child. If your child is very small, it will seem like play. The therapist will play with the child, watch the child play independently and how they play with you. After this session, the therapist will compare the child’s skills to what is normal for their age. This session is very important, as the therapist will identify specific areas in your child’s speech and language development that they need to work on. 


Once the assessment has been completed, the speech therapist will then discuss the findings with you in a separate session. During this session, you are encouraged to bring up any questions you might have about moving forward. If therapy is recommended, they will explain to you what the expectations for your child are and what they plan to do to achieve that. Treatment plans vary widely from one child to another, but the majority of clients we see at the Energy Source attend 1-2 sessions weekly.

Should I bring anything? 

You are not required to take anything with you, as the centre will have a wide range of toys and games. However, feel free to bring your child’s favourite toy, book or snack if you wish to. Bringing something your child is comfortable with could give the therapist a chance to see how your child plays or eats, and  it can also help them feel more comfortable in a new environment.

 How long should a speech therapy session last?

The average session lasts anywhere from 30 – 60 minutes. 

How long does it take for speech therapy to be effective?

The amount of time a child requires speech therapy is heavily reliant on how delayed their speech and language skills are. Some children might only need therapy for a few months while others will require a long-term plan of consistent speech therapy. Carryover at home can also impact the effectiveness of speech therapy. 

Can I be in the room with my child during their sessions? 

At The Energy Source, it is highly encouraged for parents to be in the room with the child, as the parent is expected to carryover skills learned in speech therapy into their child’s daily routine and environment. This is especially important for parents of children who cannot communicate yet, so that their child can reach his or her full potential. 

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