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What should I expect at a speech/language evaluation?

The first appointment, often an evaluation, is so important to establishing a good patient to client relationship.  It is a longer appointment and typically formal (standardized tests) as well as informal observations and assessment takes place.  An oral exam is also provided during a snack and a sample of your child’s language is observed and taken during play, reading,  or conversation.  At the end of the first appointment,  discussion of what your child’s speech and language needs are, how much and often therapy is needed, and what is expected for progress is also discussed.  Time to answer questions and give examples of what therapy will look like is provided at the first sessions. A report is written and provided to parents and other professionals as well as insurance companies as needed.

How long are most speech/language therapy sessions?

The session length is based on what is best for your child.  Most young children do well with 30 minute appointments and other children and teenagers or adults benefit greatly from longer sessions.  The session length is specific to each client and their attention skills and needs.

How does speech/language therapy work?
What should we expect when we begin sessions?

Speech therapy is based on your specific child’s needs and personality.  Whether it’s tongue and lip  exercises or listening to a story and being able to answer questions, the sessions will “teach” and allow “practice” of skills that will be natural and learned with practice.  Home exercises and practice is critical to improvement.  Communication with other professionals involved with the child( school speech therapist, doctors, dentist, orthodontist, etc, is also critical so we work together as a team to assist and make the best choices for timing of therapy and carryover of new skills.

Can you describe your tongue thrust program and what ages do your work with on an orofacial myofunctional program?

Children are seen as early as 5 years of age for consultation.  The actual orofacial program is provided to ages 7 –adult.  The reason for waiting is due to the maturity it takes to succeed with the program.  An initial appointment or assessment and then approximately 10 thirty minute appointments spread ideally over 6 or more months is needed.  This program works due to the motivation of the patient to learn and take on home exercises for daily practice.   Follow up, short appointments are needed before and after Braces and appliances are take on or off.  This therapy also encourages good health with a focus on lip posture ( healthier teeth, gums, lung health, fewer colds).  It also improves speech clarity and is an excellent way to work on speech lisps and mild speech concerns.

How do I find out if my insurance plan covers speech or orofacial myology services?

Please know that each insurance plan is different which is why I recommend families check on their plan prior to coming for the first appointment.  The procedure code for speech evaluation is 92522 and speech language therapy is 92507.  You can contact me prior to contacting you insurance and I can give  you various diagnosis codes specific to the client.  When you check with insurance by phone get the name of who you speak to and a reference # so if they advise you the sessions will be covered you have a record of that information. A good question to ask is are there any special restrictions in my plan that will not cover speech therapy?

I have a 6 years old child with a speech problem with s and r and wondered if it’s too early to have him evaluated?

Please refer to my scale of speech development.  According to this scale and your child’s age it makes sense to do an initial evaluation.  Background information will also be helpful  like (i.e. hearing testing and past ear infections) and filling out the new client form online and emailing it back to me is so helpful for a first meeting.

What ages do you treat?

6 months –adults.  We primarily see children 3-18 years of age.

What is a speech/language pathologist.  Is that different from a speech therapist?

In the 80’s the professional organization American Speech Hearing Association ( ASHA) decided to change the name of the profession.   They are the same professional.   A certified speech and language pathologist has a master’s degree in speech and hearing science and one year of clinical certification before becoming certified and recognized as a speech-language pathologist.

My daughter is 7 and sucks her thumb still at home and at night.  Is this a concern?  Do you treat this?

Pediatric Dentists suggest that thumb or finger sucking beyond age 4 can be problematic to dental development.  In some cases even before age 4 dental sucking habits can be shown to be causing an open bite that will cause future dental/orthodontic issues and possible speech issues.  Yes, as an orofacial myologist I can treat this and have had great success in working with children and adults that suck their thumbs or fingers to stop with great confidence.  For more specific information please contact me.  Each program is tailored to the client, their age, motivation, etc.

Will my child outgrow her speech lisp?  She is 8 now and is beginning to be teased for her speech at school.

 Please take a look at my developmental scale to see that production of s,z is typically correct by 5-6 years of age.  It makes sense to get started and find out why you daughter is having this mild speech issue and how to help her.   S and Z are the most common sounds produced in English, so even a mild speech issue like a lisp can seem like a bigger issue.  Speech therapy is a very positive process and allows each client to feel good about themselves for their progress and growth.