Frequently Asked Questions About Speech Therapy

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Questions About Working With Orlando Speech:

At Orlando Speech, we do not have an office location. Our team of board certified speech language pathologists specializes in mobile, on-site therapy or therapy conducted in the child’s “natural setting,” whether that be the family home, local school, or daycare facility.

We are proud to provide mobile speech therapy services to the greater Orlando, Florida area including Dr. Phillips, Sand Lake, Lake Buena Vista, Ocoee, Windermere, Winter Garden, MetroWest, Oviedo, Waterford Lakes, Winter Park, and Maitland.

The staff at Orlando Speech works exclusively with children from birth up through 18 years of age. If you are an adult seeking an Orlando speech therapist, we would be happy to refer you to a trusted pathologist near you.

This is one of the most frequently asked questions about speech therapy. On-site therapy or therapy conducted in the child’s natural setting – whether it be home, daycare or school – provides the most comfortable possible learning atmosphere for the child.

The familiarity of the space allows him/her to fully focus on the activity at hand and seamlessly integrate the learned skills into his/her daily context. It also generally includes the involvement of the parents, caregivers, or educators who are able to learn carryover strategies to support the child’s continued progress between therapy sessions.

The speech-language pathologists at Orlando Speech take the time to establish powerful rapport with each child before diving into the pathology-driven exercises. We truly strive to treat each child as our own, which means exhibiting patience, enthusiasm, and compassion in every activity.

Each therapy method is customized to your child’s individual needs and circumstances, and we believe that our unwavering dedication to your child’s progress is demonstrated in the results we achieve together with the families we serve and distinguishes us from other SLPs in the area.

Prior to therapeutic treatment, your child must first undergo a speech-language evaluation, which can be billed through insurance or paid for privately. The evaluation is separate from a diagnosis (which you may or may not have already received) and illustrates where your child’s strengths and weaknesses lie, and allows us to develop specific goals in regards to their treatment plan.

Many parents come to Orlando Speech on referral from a primary care physician or pediatrician, in which case they may come to us with a medical diagnosis, such as Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) or Down syndrome (DS), though a diagnosis is not a prerequisite to therapy. For children who come to us without a diagnosis, an SLP will determine if a speech-language diagnosis exists by conducting a speech-language evaluation as well as careful observations.

The first therapy session with a child is generally a matter of establishing rapport. Prior to meeting face-to-face, you will be contacted by a speech-language pathologist in order to discuss your concerns regarding your child’s speech and to discuss the necessary intake paperwork, which can be completed prior to the first session as it is quite lengthy. During the initial meeting, the SLP will conduct an evaluation to assess the areas of concern and provide you with a brief description of the findings, which will also be included in a comprehensive report.

By the end of the first session, you can expect to know if speech-language therapy is needed, how much therapy is recommended, that a plan of care will be sent to the child’s pediatrician and that an authorization request will be sent to your insurance company, if applicable. This process generally takes 2-3 weeks and therapy will begin once all paperwork is received.

Yes. Orlando Speech is currently in network with the following insurance providers: Children’s Medical Services (CMS) Title 19, Children’s Medical Services (CMS) Title 21, Medicaid, Medipass, Tricare Prime, and Tricare Standard. We also accept private pay patients.

If you notice that your child is having speech or language difficulties, the first step is to speak with your child’s pediatrician or family physician regarding your concerns. Given their knowledge of child developmental norms, they will most often be able to identify risk of developmental delay. In that case, you may be given a script for a speech-language evaluation with a speech-language pathologist (SLP) to determine if any delay is present.

Waiting for your child to “outgrow” these challenges is often the worst course of action to take. Why? Because early detection and intervention can save your child from years of communication struggles. In fact, speech-language therapy conducted from birth to three years old is highly recommended as it can remediate problems before your child begins school. Trust your instincts and seek a second opinion. Chances are your child is right on track, and if not, the solution is likely far more simple than you think.

This is one of the most frequently asked questions in speech therapy. And the answer is that in speech therapy, your child will work on specific goals that are delineated during his/her speech-language evaluation.

For example, if your 3-year old demonstrates difficulty producing the /g/ sound, the speech-language pathologist will select an engaging activity that focuses on the progressive production of this particular sound. Continued repetition of this sound will be practiced over the course of many sessions and parents will be taught practical strategies to encourage at-home practice as well.

A child’s speech and language development is dependent on many factors, including (but not limited to) age, attention span, willingness to participate, underlying etiology of the diagnosis, severity of the speech-language problem, frequency of therapy sessions, regular attendance, family involvement, and at-home practice.

By undergoing a formal speech-language evaluation, your speech-language pathologist may be able to give you an estimate of treatment duration. Once treatment is underway, every six months your child’s speech-language skills will be reassessed in order to measure progress and make any necessary adjustments to the treatment program. Some children may even complete therapy before the 6 month reassessment period, while other children attend therapy for years, as they work up to more complex communication goals.

Parents and family members – even peers – play a crucial role in speech-language therapy and will be given carry-over activities (at-home strategies) to support the child’s continued progress and development. The speech-language pathologist will walk you through each activity with step-by-step instructions so that you not only have confidence in engaging your child, but also so that you understand why it matters and how to coach them through the challenging moments.

For example, if the speech-language pathologist worked on production of the /g/ sound this week in therapy, she may encourage you to practice this sound with a repetitive activity such as using a toy car and having the child say “Go” when he/she wants the car to move. These simple, targeted techniques can be seamlessly incorporated into your family’s daily routine, allowing your child to be constantly developing communication skills and the confidence that goes along with them.

Frequency of therapy sessions depends on each child’s individual case and the speech-language pathologist will make a recommendation taking into account the results of the initial speech-language evaluation, specific goals, and any scheduling restrictions a family may experience. Recommendations can be anywhere from 1-5 times per week and sessions are either 30 min, 45 min, or 1 hour.

If you are interested in a speech-language evaluation or would like to pursue a course of treatment for your child’s recent diagnosis, please do not hesitate to give us a call at (407) 906-7733. Our speech-language practitioners are more than happy to discuss any concerns you may have and all initial consultations are obligation-free.

Questions About How Speech Therapy Works:

A speech-language pathologist (SLP) or speech therapist, is a skilled professional who diagnoses and treats speech and language disorders. The field of speech-language pathology is very diverse, as SLPs can specialize in everything from feeding and swallowing disorders to reading intervention.

A SLP has earned a master’s degree in speech-language pathology and participates in a Clinical Fellowship (CF) experience for at least 9 months under the direct supervision of a certified speech-language pathologist. Following the successful completion of the CF experience, the speech-language pathologist earns the credentials “CCC”, which means that he or she has earned the “Certificate of Clinical Competence.” If you are looking for an Orlando speech therapist, these are all important credentials to verify before signing up for treatment.

Speech refers to verbal means of communicating. It encompasses things such as voice, fluency, and pronunciation of specific sounds. Speech difficulties can occur for a number of different reasons and a simple speech evaluation can help determine what’s wrong and how to treat it.

Language, on the other hand, is composed of socially shared rules and includes understanding and use of vocabulary, manipulating words to form new words, formulating sentences, and using appropriate sets of words for specific situations. A language evaluation should be conducted if your child presents with difficulties in any of these areas.

A delay is a slower than typical developing speech patterns, while disorders stay with a child throughout his or her development often past the age of eight and sometimes into adulthood.

Receptive language is the ability to interpret what is heard. If you notice that you have to repeat directions to your child many times, or if he/she has trouble following your directions, your child may struggle with receptive language skills. A language evaluation can determine if your child’s current skills are on-par with developmental norms and whether speech therapy would be beneficial.

Based on developmental norms, it is expected that your child say his/her first word around 12 months, with at least 10-20 words by about 18 months. By 24 months, your child should be stringing two word combinations together, such as, “Daddy go,” “Want ball,” or “More milk.”

Keep in mind that these skills do not develop at the same exact age for all children and that these ages act merely as a reference point. So for example, if your child is 13 months and has not said his/her first word, it is certainly not time to panic. If your child is 18 months however and has not spoken a word, this may be of concern.

“Normal developmental timelines” can torture parents into a state of shear panic, but it’s important to keep in mind that every child’s “normal” is unique. That being said, it’s wise to keep one eye on the standard age-related milestones to determine if your child’s communication skills are developing at a normal speed. Keep in mind however, that children may acquire skills months or weeks after their peers and still be considered to be developing normally.

If you have concerns regarding your child’s speech and language development, the best thing to do is begin a written record of your observations and start voicing your concerns to a local pediatrician or speech-language therapist.

An articulation disorder involves difficulty saying sounds. Spoken sounds can be deleted, substituted, added or changed. These errors make it difficult for others to understand. For example, when a child says, “wock” for “rock” beyond a certain age, this may be indicative of an articulation disorder.

A receptive language disorder is when someone has difficulty understanding what is said to him/her. Some warning signs are: not responding to his/her name, not being able to follow simple instructions, as well as the child repeatedly asking “What?” or looking confused when spoken to. Some individuals with receptive language disorder may also present with expressive language disorder simultaneously.

An expressive language disorder is when someone has deficits in vocabulary, manipulating words to form new words, producing sentences, remembering words or using words appropriately across settings. Some individuals with expressive language disorder may also have receptive language disorder.

The following are “red flags” or warning signs that may suggest that your child is at-risk for an autism spectrum disorder (ASD). If your child demonstrates any of the following symptoms, contact your child’s pediatrician immediately to make an appointment to assess for Autism. For more information, visit Autism Speaks.

  • No big smiles or other warm, joyful expressions by 6 months or thereafter
  • No back-and-forth sharing of sounds, smiles or other facial expressions by 9 months
  • No babbling by 12 months
  • No back-and-forth gestures such as pointing, showing, reaching or waving by 12 months
  • No words by 1 year
  • No meaningful, two-word phrases (not including imitating or repeating) by 24 months
  • Any loss of speech, babbling or social skills at any age

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Our Speech-Language Pathologists Treat A Variety of Disorders With Unparalleled Skill And Compassion.

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