How long does language therapy take for children?

Often on the phone with the therapist booking the appointment, even before their child first comes to the clinic, the parents want to know how long the therapy will take.

This is important especially now in these difficult times , as funds are usually restricted due to limited insurance coverage or due to scarce resources among hard working young parents. This question is important.

First, parents seek help for their children for language issues for many reasons. These include:

  1. not following direction or responding to their names
  2. not speaking or engaging with others socially or is withdrawn
  3. not speaking clearly
  4. stuttering
  5. not playing with peers or displaying behaviour problems such as biting or hitting peers
  6. speaking little or with poor grammar
  7. having difficulty expressing himself at home or with peers at school
  8. having difficulty telling a (personal) story
  9. having trouble learning vocabulary
  10. having trouble learning to read
  11. using only a few words
  12. having more than one language at home and having a limited vocabulary

The first visit consists of an assessment, trial therapy and consultation with the parents where a diagnosis may be made. A plan for the next step will be discussed with the parents. If therapy is required, parents often ask about the time frame for intervention. The length of treatment varies based on many variables. These include:

  1. the type of language problem and severity

  2. the presence of other developmental difficulties or issues

  3. the age of the child and ability to be worked with

  4. the child’s attention and cognitive level

  5. the presence of a strong home support for homework

  6. the inclusion of the preschool/school resources to share the goals and strategies to help generalize the treatment to other parts of the child’s day.

Maximal benefit would occur with regular and frequent therapy. Some children require therapy for longer periods of time. Many families use resources from the community as well as private services to offset some of the costs. Sharon is aware of some resources in the community that can help parents with children who need longer term therapy. As long as there are gains and the child is learning or consolidating the language goals, then therapy should continue. If weekly therapy is not affordable, then therapy on a different schedule can be arranged as long as the parents also support the language goals at home. Home programming where the parents incorporate the language goals in the activities of daily living and help generalization and mastery is a typical feature of intervention at Kids Can Communicate.

Children with language difficulties are at risk for challenges at school with learning and with literacy. If you are concerned at all, get your child seen. If the cost is prohibitive, alternate arrangements may be made privately. Call Sharon to answer any of your concerns regarding your child’s development. Looking forward to speaking to you and meeting you in the office.