“ My child can’t say some words properly. How do I know if my child’s speech errors need therapy or are just part of normal development ”

Frequently Asked Questions

  • How do I know if I need a Speech Therapist?

If you suspect that you have ANY communication or speech related difficulties, you may benefit from professional help. Feel free to contact the SALT Clinic and a Speech Therapist will advise you on what is the best course of action.

  • How do I know my Speech Therapist holds a certified qualification?

Anyone practising as a Speech and Language Therapist should hold a relevant professional qualification that is recognized by a professional body. They should adhere to the highest standards of clinical practice and be involved in continual professional development. Perrine Cahill trained at the University of Limerick and is a member of both the Irish Association of Speech and Language Therapists (IASLT) and CORU (SL015730) .

  • What is considered an appropriate age for children to attend Speech and Language Therapy?

Seeking professional help in the early stages of speech and language development is vital. This can have a direct impact on your child’s communication. Therapists may give you language-stimulating techniques to develop your child’s communication in these early stages. If you suspect any difficulty in your child’s speech or language development, feel free to contact the SALT Clinic to discuss your concerns.

  • Very often my child doesn’t seem to understand what I’m saying/asking him to do. How can I tell if he has a problem with his understanding?

If your child appears to be unable to follow what you say, it may be that your child has difficulty with hearing, understanding and/or attention. In order to know which difficulty or combinations of difficulties your child is experiencing, you may want to consider the following options:

  • A history of ear infections or glue ear can impact on how a child hears speech sounds; therefore it may be necessary to have your child’s hearing assessed.
  • Have your child’s understanding of language assessed to see whether it is developing at a level expected for their age.
  • Attention and listening can be assessed through clinical observation during assessment of understanding of language or while the child is at play.

  • My child can’t say some words properly. How do I know if my child’s speech errors need therapy or are just part of normal development?

All children learning to talk make speech errors. Children tend to make the same types of errors in speech and correct themselves at about the same ages. However, some children make errors that don’t seem to follow the normal pattern of speech development or they don’t seem to be able to correct their speech errors.

If you have any doubts, contact the SALT Clinic and a Speech Therapist will be able to assess your child’s speech sound system and recommend whether therapy would be beneficial.

  • My child has a stutter. Will s/he grow out of her/his stutter?

Many children stutter as they learn to develop speech and language skills. Some children grow out of this, but many don’t. This can be dependent on a lot of things, including the severity of the stutter. If you would like to have your child assessed, please contact the SALT Clinic.

  • Why attend privately for Speech and Language Therapy?

Due to the increasing demand for Speech and Language Therapy, waiting lists in public health services may be extensive. Delays in availing of assessment or therapy services may mean a delay in accessing additional services or resources. The SALT Clinic can help you by providing you with immediate access to services and early assessment and intervention.

  • How do I make a referral to SALT Speech and Language Therapy Clinic?

You do NOT need a doctor’s referral to attend the SALT Clinic. Simply contact us via telephone or email to discuss your needs and an appointment can be made if necessary. Your Speech Therapist may refer you to other professionals or specialists if appropriate.

  • What should I expect at the initial Speech Therapy consultation?

Your first visit will consist of a discussion to find out your exact concerns and to discuss details of your child’s development. The aim is to understand your perspective and any indicators that may factor into the difficulties your child may be experiencing with their communication.

The Speech Therapist will then administer an assessment that looks at your child’s language (how well s/he understands language and how well s/he expresses himself through language) and a speech assessment that looks at your child’s speech sound development. This process normally takes between 1½-2 hours and may be conducted over two sessions.

Once the assessment process is complete, the Therapist will discuss these results with you and what they mean for your child. If therapy is necessary, your Therapist will discuss your options and advise you on a proposed therapy schedule. You may be given additional activities to carry out between appointments.

  • What should I expect when I attend a therapy session?

Therapy is individualized to meet the needs of each client based on their own assessment performance. Clients may attend weekly, bi-weekly or on a review basis, depending on the clinician’s recommendation. Sessions may be 30-45 minutes long or an hour long, case depending. Sessions are mostly one to one; however group therapy sessions are also available.

  • What should I expect when I attend therapy as an adult?

A collaborative assessment will be carried out, looking at all factors that are having the biggest impact on you and your quality of life. Following assessment, your Speech Therapist will be able to advise you whether therapy would be beneficial. Collaboratively, you can then decide on what areas of speech and language and goals you would like to target.

  • How long do I have to attend Speech and Language Therapy?

Your Speech Therapist can give you an estimate of how long treatment will take. You will be continuously updated on progress and homework will be given at each session to ensure carryover outside the clinical setting.

  • Is Speech and Language Therapy covered by private health insurance?

Speech and Language Therapy IS covered by private health insurance. Check with your insurance company to ascertain your entitlements.

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