When I am first contacted by a parent who is curious about starting their child in speech therapy, 9 out of 10 times they ask me “How long will my child be in speech therapy?” It is such a good question, yet one with no definite answer. There are so many variable factors that go into answering the question how long will my child be in speech therapy. Here are several to consider:
- The reason your child requires speech therapy: A child that is working on getting rid of a frontal lisp will likely not need services as long as a toddler who is not yet talking, or a kiddo who has apraxia. The reason why your child needs services, and the severity of the issue, greatly influences how long therapy will be needed.
- Behavior: A child’s behavior can greatly influence the rate of progress. While behavior is a means of communication, sometimes behavior challenges need to be addressed before we can work on therapy goals.
- Rapport with the therapist: While some kiddos warm up very quickly, others may take several sessions to feel comfortable. Once the therapist and child have established a positive and trusting relationship, therapy sessions are much more impactful.
- Family involvement: The more involved a family is, and the greater the carryover is at home, the more successful a child will be in achieving their goals. It is so important for families to be involved both during the therapy session and in the home environment.
- No two children are the same: Therefore, even two children working on very similar goals will progress at different rates. One week your child will make huge strides and the next week we may see little progress. This is to be expected and is a natural part of the process.
The bottom line, it takes as long as it takes! The good news… there is always a light at the end of the tunnel, no matter how long the tunnel is.
To read our FAQs which answers lots of common parent questions click here.