What does therapy look like for kids?
Starting therapy can be both an exciting and a nervous time for parents – finding answers for your concerns, gaining information about your child’s profile, wondering what outcomes can be achieved and… what therapy will look like for your family.
At Cooee Speech Pathology, our team of Speech Pathologists and Occupational Therapists will tailor each individual session to your child’s unique profile and the current targets for the day’s session. However, there are general principles that we follow that apply to all therapy sessions:
What happens in a therapy session?
Standard therapy sessions typically range from 30 to 45-minutes per session. Within this session, the following will occur:
5 to 10-minutes: debrief of the past week – how home practise went, what skills you are seeing, what’s going well, what is hard…
20 to 35-minutes: administering intervention – providing therapy, providing parent education, parent coaching…
5-minutes: setting home follow-up – providing home activities, explaining time and frequency of home practice, providing recommendations for home/teachers…
Do I have to come in – why?
While it is not compulsory for all children, it is strongly recommended that parents sit-in on each therapy session to gain the full benefits of therapy. Sitting in on sessions allows you to observe and participate in administering your child’s therapy, which will support your confidence and skills in transferring these tasks to your home environment. Further to this, sitting in on sessions allows you to gain valuable education regarding your child’s profile – including their strengths and weaknesses, and how to spot these in your child’s behaviours. As therapy tasks progress, you can ask as many questions as you need to understand the nature of therapy and how the activities develop your child’s skills.
Will we have homework – how much?
As Speech Pathologists and Occupational Therapists work on developmental skills, home follow-up of therapy tasks is required in order to achieve progress. The time and frequency varies depending on the skills being targeted, and the number of goals being worked on. For early speech, language, motor, play and engagement intervention, daily practise is required and is typically recommended to be a minimum of 1-hour (which can be broken up into ~20-minute sessions). For later-developing skills, such as social skills, literacy, handwriting and fluency, practise can vary from daily to once/twice a week and can take 15 to 30-minutes per day.
If you have any concerns regarding the frequency and type of homework your therapist is recommending, it is important to bring this up in therapy early – this will allow your therapist to problem-solve with you.
How long will therapy take?
The duration of therapy is individual to the child, and varies based on the following factors:
- Child’s diagnosis/es,
- Frequency of therapy sessions,
- Completing home follow-up/recommendations.
For mild delays, therapy will take approximately 3 to 6 months (with weekly sessions and consistent home follow-up). For moderate delays/difficulties, therapy will take approximately 12 months (with weekly therapy sessions and consistent home follow-up). For multiple areas of delay, profound difficulties and/or developmental disorders, therapy is long term and can span throughout childhood to support development of skills as your child continues to progress.
For any questions regarding your child’s therapy, it is recommended that you consult your therapist. Asking questions, and understanding your child’s therapy journey is important to your child’s progress. If you have any further questions about the nature of Speech Pathology and/or Occupational Therapy sessions, do not hesitate to get in touch with one of our therapists via [email protected] or calling us on (07) 3265 4495.