In the first session, you will meet with a speech language pathologist (SLP), who will evaluate your communication and swallowing skills. The SLP will ask you questions about your medical history, treatment goals, and current speech, language, and swallowing abilities.
The SLP may also conduct a swallowing assessment to determine how well you can swallow food or liquids safely. For example, if you have trouble swallowing or feel food stuck in your throat when eating or drinking, the SLP may videotape you while you eat, then review the video with you.
If the SLP determines that it is safe for you to eat and drink during therapy sessions, he/she may ask you to bring in some of your favorite foods from home so that he/she can teach you exercises to help improve your swallowing skills.
During your first visit, the SLP will explain the purpose of speech therapy treatments and what should be expected of each session. You will be given the opportunity to discuss any questions or concerns that you have about participating in speech therapy as well as other aspects of your care.
When a child starts speech therapy, the parents are often nervous and concerned. Because the child’s speech problems are often caused by a medical condition, it is important that the therapist be able to get to know the family and understand exactly what’s going on with the child so that best treatment plans can be developed.
Somewhere between 5%-10% of all children will have a language delay (their speech develops later than their peers). While this percentage may seem large to you, it is important to remember that over 80% of these children will grow up to speak normally.
The first day of speech therapy sessions can be a bit daunting for both the speech therapist and their student. You’ll want to get to know each other a bit before diving into the big stuff. You don’t have to plan out every minute of your session, but it can help ease some of the tension by having some games and activities in place for your first few sessions.
First and foremost, you’ll probably meet your speech-language pathologist (SLP). They may be a certified SLP, a graduate student in the process of becoming an SLP, or a clinical fellow who is in their final year of earning their certification. If you don’t remember their name after the introduction, don’t worry about it—they will introduce themselves again when they meet with you for your first appointment.
Next, you’ll probably fill out paperwork. It’s normal to feel nervous about this step because it asks questions about your health history and the nature of your speech issues. Don’t worry though—be as honest as possible on this paperwork so that your SLP has all the information they need to help you overcome whatever challenges you’re facing.
After that, you’ll probably be asked to wait while your SLP reviews the paperwork and gets ready for your initial session. Depending on how busy the office is, it may take a few minutes or up to half an hour before the SLP is ready to see you.