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Debunking the Myths About Speech Therapy

Have you ever heard a conversation that went something like this?

 

Worried Mom – “I’m really concerned about my child’s speech. She’s two and half and doesn’t seem to be saying many words yet.”
Encouraging Friend – “Hmmm, well, maybe her older brother is just talking for her too much.”
Worried Mom – “Honestly, he kind of does his own thing so I don’t think that’s it. The other day she got so upset because we weren’t giving her the toy she wanted. Instead of telling us which toy she just kept pointing and grunting. By the time we figured out what toy she wanted we had a huge meltdown on our hands.”
Encouraging Friend – “Sounds like a normal 2 year old to me. Just wait it out. She’ll catch up.”
As a speech therapist, I hear stories like this all the time. Sweet moms and dads come into our clinic with a three, four, or even five year old kiddo and say, “I wish I hadn’t waited. I wish I had listened to my gut. I knew something wasn’t quite right.” So, what keeps parents from taking that step? I think it could be a few different things: fear of the unknown, lack of knowledge about local resources available, concern that others around them with think differently about their child, and maybe even some worry about the cost.

 

So, let’s tackle some myths about speech therapy for children five years
and under to help you find the truth.

 

MYTH: If my child comes in for an evaluation at your clinic, I’ll have to pay an arm and a leg. I can’t afford it.

TRUTH: Many insurance companies cover speech therapy services and while you may have to meet your deductible or pay a co-pay, you might be surprised at how affordable the services can be. At TheraCare we will call to check these benefits for you and we won’t schedule an evaluation or treatment without letting you know the costs upfront.

 

MYTH: You think everyone needs speech therapy and you see kids for services even if they don’t need it.

TRUTH: As speech therapists, we follow what are called developmental norms. Research has shown us the ages at which a child should be able to perform certain tasks and the testing that we use always goes back to these norms. If your child falls below what is considered normal, we will talk to you and come up with a plan that best fits the child’s needs. If your child falls within a normal or above average range, we will give your child an awesome prize and a sticker for having fun with us and send you on your way to enjoy the day!

 

MYTH: My child didn’t qualify for First Steps, Early Childhood Special Education, or Public School therapy services, so they can’t come see you for speech therapy.

TRUTH: If your child didn’t qualify for services within these programs that does not mean that they fall into a developmentally normal range. Strict guidelines have been put in place to determine eligibility in these settings and, while there must be a line drawn somewhere, there are certainly children who may not qualify but could still benefit from therapy services to address speech and/or language concerns.

 

The bottom line?

An evaluation of speech and language skills can never hurt. If you have a concern, call and find out more before you count out an evaluation as an option. Providing your child with speech therapy early and consistently can decrease the need services later while increasing the opportunity for success in school and life.

 

Do you have questions about speech therapy for your child? Wondering if there are other myths we could help to clear up? Leave a comment on our blog or on social media (Facebook | Twitter) and we will answer your questions!

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Preschools Aren’t All Created Equal

Choosing the right childcare facility for your kiddo is a tough decision! As a parent myself, my husband and I spent countless hours researching websites, talking with friends, taking building tours, and asking questions before we chose a place we felt was best for our children.

When TheraCare opened in 2014, I envisioned a place where children would not only get the therapy services they need, but also where their families would have access to necessary resources, developmental guidelines, and sometimes just a listening ear or shoulder to cry on.

In the past two years of our journey, I have watched parents of children with various levels of special needs struggle to find a preschool where they felt their children would be safe and loved, as well as gain the skills they need to be ready for kindergarten. For that reason, we turned another dream into reality: TheraCare Preschool.

 

What sets TheraCare apart?

 

  1. Small Student-Teacher Ratio

  • Maximum of 3:1 student teacher ratio
  • Ability to teach portions of the day in a one-on-one environment
  • Daily communication logs for parents to track progress
  • Monthly check-ins with the teacher

 

  1. Whole-Child Approach

Although academic skills are highly important for your child’s ability to progress to the next level of education, other crucial areas such as his or her ability to interact well with peers and take part in physical activities can improve your child’s quality of life and later educational experiences.

The four areas we will target to achieve these goals are:

  • Early Language and Reading Literacy – introducing language and reading concepts appropriate for a preschooler
  • Math Literacy – gaining knowledge of math concepts and the “language” of math
  • Physical Literacy – helping your child master the fundamentals of physical movement as an individual and in a group
  • Social Literacy – guiding your child in ways to appropriately interact, maintain and build relationships with others

 

  1. Guidance From and Close Proximity to Therapy Professionals

TheraCare offers speech, occupational, and music therapy in the clinic adjacent to the preschool. These professionals will be readily available to consult with you regarding your child’s needs. Your child can receive these therapy services before, during, or after preschool hours, so you don’t have to make a separate trip to another clinic.

 

  1. An Inclusive Environment

No two people learn in exactly the same way. Providing education in an inclusive environment means that teachers and assistants will use visual, auditory, kinesthetic and other techniques to fit your child’s unique learning style. In addition, students will be guided in activities that will help them respect the various backgrounds and abilities of those around them. This will provide a climate where students and their families feel valued for who they are.

 

If you would like to learn more about TheraCare Preschool, come visit us Saturday, July 16th from 9 am – 12 pm at our Open House. We would love to share how our dream of quality preschool education for all can help you and your child get the care and individualized attention they need.

 

Melanie Stinnett, MS, CCC-SLP

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