Q: What is the purpose of therapy?
A: Therapy allows for systematic teaching of those aspects of communication that are challenging for your child. The speech-language pathologist uses the information gathered during the assessment to set treatment goals that will be addressed in the therapy sessions. The therapy sessions involve activities that will allow your child to learn, practice and expand on language skills in a fun and motivating way.
Q: How many therapy sessions am I expected to attend?
A: When you begin therapy, the speech-language pathologist will review the planned number of sessions with you. A “therapy block”, as it is called, may consist of 4-12 sessions, depending on the type and goals of therapy.
Q: What will happen when we have finished our therapy block?
A: The speech-language pathologist will review what the goals of therapy were and the progress observed for each goal. She will also discuss with you what should occur next; for example, stopping therapy, continuing therapy, or consulting with another professional.
Q: How can I help my child get the most out of therapy?
A: You can help maximize your child’s progress in therapy in several ways. Parents are often invited to attend or even participate in therapy sessions. In this way, you can observe the methods used by the speech-language pathologist, and learn how to practice the therapy goals during the week at home. Attending weekly sessions consistently and for the duration of the planned therapy block is another way to get the most out of therapy. In this way, the speech-language pathologist is able to hear your feedback about the home program and address questions right away. Consistent attendance also helps both the child and the parent to maintain rapport with the clinician and stay goal-focused and motivated. Finally, following the home program is an essential component of maximizing your child’s progress.
Q: What is a home program?
A: The home program is a list of goals to work on with your child that week and activity suggestions, methods and materials to help you do so. The home program is prepared by the speech-language pathologist at the end of your weekly session, and is a reflection of the therapy goals addressed that day, as well as of your child’s progress since the last session.
Q: Isn’t the speech-language pathologist supposed to be doing work with my child, and not just playing?
A: Speech-language pathologists who work with children often use toys and games during therapy sessions. This can make a therapy session look like mere playtime. However, clinicians are trained to address therapy goals and implement language facilitation techniques in a way that is fun and motivating for children. While this may look like mere play, each activity is carefully structured and planned to permit the child to be learning and practicing language skills. Having fun while therapy goals are being addressed facilitates your child’s learning and also ensures that your child wants to come to their sessions.
Q: What happens if we have to miss a session?
A: Should you need to cancel a session, the therapist will make every effort to offer you an alternative appointment time for that week. We encourage families to try their best to attend therapy weekly in order to maintain momentum, monitor progress and maximize their child’s potential to improve their performance.
Q: When should my child start therapy?
A: Many clinical studies have shown that the earlier treatment begins in a child’s life, the more effective therapy can be. We encourage parents to follow up promptly on the recommendations made by the speech-language pathologist during the assessment. If therapy is recommended, the sooner therapy is started, the better! Clinical studies also indicated that children who began therapy later in childhood still performed better in the long term than children who required it but did not receive any therapy at all. In other words, if therapy is recommended, better late than never! Read why Early Intervention is important!
Q: How can I tell that the therapy sessions are helping?
A: You can expect to see your child perform better on the goals being addressed in the therapy sessions; for example, using longer phrases or applying strategies to read words. However, it can take several months, and in some cases longer, in order to achieve therapy goals. You may not see any changes after only a few therapy sessions.
Q: How long do we work on the same therapy goals?
A: The speech-language pathologist is trained to set and update the therapy goals based on her clinical observations as well as information obtained through discussions with the parent. In some cases, the therapy goals might need to remain the same for several weeks in order to ensure that your child has acquired the targeted skill. The clinician is also trained to modify the methods used in therapy in order to best support your child’s learning style and preferences. In this way, she can help your child meet therapy goals as quickly as possible.
Q: When can we stop coming to therapy?
A: In general, the speech-language pathologist will recommend stopping therapy when your child no longer requires it; that is, when your child’s demonstrates skills that are within the predicted range for their chronological age. In some cases, the clinician may recommend stopping therapy for other reasons, such as referring a child for supportive services from another specialist or taking a break to allow for a consolidation period.
Q: Can I get any help to pay for therapy?
A: The Montreal Fluency Centre is pleased to offer financial assistance to help reduce the costs of treatment. Any family is welcome to apply for financial assistance by asking our Intake Coordinator for a bursary application. She can be reached at (514) 489-4320, ext 237. Families who qualify may be eligible for a reduction of up to 75% of the therapy fee.
Q: How long will I have to wait for my child to start therapy?
A: We are typically able to start therapy right away. There may be a longer wait time depending on your scheduling flexibility and the availabilities of the most appropriate clinicians for your child’s needs.
Q: Can any child with a communication problem receive therapy at the Montreal Fluency Centre?
A: Most children with communication problems can receive therapy at the Montreal Fluency Centre. However, in some cases it is not appropriate for us to provide therapy. The code of professional ethics for speech-language pathologists states that a clinician should not offer professional services outside of their scope of practice or expertise. Sometimes a child’s particular needs are outside of the scope of practice of the clinicians at the Montreal Fluency Centre. However, anyone is welcome to call and obtain an appointment to speak with a speech-language pathologist. We are happy to try to help clarify if we can be of service to you and your child. In some cases, a speech-language pathologist will review the existing information on a child with the relevant clinical team in order to make a decision about whether we are able to offer the services your child requires. In every case, we will do our best to refer you to the most appropriate agency if we cannot provide treatment for your child at the Montreal Fluency Centre.
Q: How can I arrange a therapy appointment?
A: To seek treatment for your child, please start by Opening a file or by emailing our Intake Coordinator at email@example.com Your child will need to have been assessed within the previous 12 months by a certified speech-language pathologist, either here at the Montreal Fluency Centre, or elsewhere. You will be asked to send us a copy of the assessment report so that we can determine the best course of action for your child. Our Intake Coordinator will conduct a phone interview with you, answer any questions you may have, and offer you a therapy appointment time.
You can download the above Therapy FAQs here.