How long will my child need speech therapy
From Colorado Springs, CO

Ask a Speech Therapist

Rikki DeGrove
By: Sprout Therapy Services,

This is something many parents ask me during their child’s initial evaluation. Of course there is no single answer to this question, and parents should be wary of any professional “guaranteeing” results in a fixed amount of time. However, it is a reasonable question to ask, as therapy costs money and time, and requires careful scheduling and consistent attendance. So, how much time should you plan on your child being in therapy? Here are some factors a speech-language pathologist considers:

The nature and severity of the speech problem (articulation vs developmental disorder, etc)

The number of goals the child is working to achieve

Any behavior or learning challenges

These may affect the child’s ability to respond to the therapist and activities and carryover skills to new environments.

The amount of time spent on home programming between sessions is also a big factor. If you think about it, a child may see his/her therapist twice a week for 30 minutes at a time. This is a very small percentage of a child’s waking hours! Working on home program exercises or assignments daily will increase your child’s exposure to the concepts he/she is learning in speech and help your child make progress quicker!

Since the effect of all of these factors can’t be predicted through one initial evaluation, offering a fixed amount of time for therapy to work isn’t possible. However I tell most parents that we will monitor the child’s progress over a period of 3 to 6 months and keep an open dialogue about the need for continued therapy.