Some important prerequisites
- Proper credentials
Master’s degree in speech and language, state license (in states that require), Certificate of Clinical Competence CCC from the American Speech and Hearing Association (ASHA). Therapist schooling takes two years beyond college and can include a 9 month clinical fellowship.
Has experience working with your child’s particular problem.
- Initial Assessment
Everything starts with the initial assessment ; one written competently defines the problem and sets up everything that follows. It’s a critical document. It’s content provides useful information to other professionals working with your child.
Your child likes and feels comfortable with your therapist. There is an obvious level of trust. Your child looks forward to the therapy session.
- You feel good about them
You believe your child is in competent hands.
- Communication Skills
Therapist communicates regularly with you. They make a point to talk with you after the session. Their documentation is timely, readable and helpful.
Your are part of the therapy process. There is a home program.
- Team Player
Therapy often occurs with other disciplines. Therapist reaches out and communicates consistently with other professionals e.g. OT, PT, doctor, nurse, teacher, social worker.
- Blends with your child’s world
Therapist integrates interests and things of importance to your child in therapy.
- Achieves goals
Is therapy on target with initial goals? Are goals achieved? Were achievable goals set in the first place?
Proper and timely documentation is paramount. Poor or missing documentation stops funding.
These are nice things to have too
Therapist is up to date with new things happening in the field. Familiar with trends going on in the field.
Thinks outside the box. Sometimes obstacles to progress require creative solutions.
Goes beyond the minimum expected. Spends extra time with you or e.g. makes therapy materials, coordinates with a teacher. Does things you might not expect.