Speech Therapy. Having had an initial assessment and after developing appropriate treatment goals, it’s now time to begin treatment sessions!
This can look very different from one individual to another, depending on one’s area of difficulty, developmental age and the setting that they are being seen in (e.g., home, school, clinic). Sessions can take place one-on-one or within a small group, where everyone is working on similar targets. The delivery of treatment can also vary, as some individuals would benefit more from direct therapy while others require family coaching to carry over communications strategies in their day-to-day environments. Sessions can take place twice a week, weekly, bi-weekly or monthly.
Speech Therapy for Children
Speech therapy for younger children, sessions are often heavily play-based, with a focus on learning to communicate through play. Depending on the child’s interest, this can include different toys, puzzles, people play (e.g., tickles, tag) and all sorts of other motivators. Children learn to interact through sounds, gestures, talking or nonverbal communication methods to communicate their needs, thoughts and feelings. During the session, your speech-language pathologist will likely provide different strategies for the child and caregivers to use at home. For older or school-aged children, sessions may incorporate age-appropriate play and other structured activities to teach certain speech sounds, grammatical structures, vocabulary, and social communication skills. Sessions will also follow the child’s interest, which could include different books, pictures, crafts and games. Your clinician may also provide strategies and homework for the child, caregiver or classroom teacher, to use at school and at home.
Speech Therapy for Adults
Speech therapy for adults can greatly benefit adults in improving or regaining their speech, language, and cognitive communication skills. Therapy may also include retraining of impaired swallowing function following an injury or medical condition, such as a stroke or Parkinson’s disease, which has resulted in swallowing difficulties.
Treatment sessions will vary between individuals, depending on their area of difficulty. For example, sessions may target organization, problem solving, and memory in daily living activities, geared at improving cognitive communication. To improve social communication skills, conversational tactics and strategies may be the focus of your sessions. Treatment activities may include therapy apps, age-appropriate games, focused roleplay, and various workbooks. In addition, your speech-language pathologist may also provide strategies and homework for you and your family, to help carryover treatment strategies in the home environment.