Speech and Language Therapists provide treatment, support and care for individuals in the areas of communication, eating, drinking and swallowing. Speech and language therapy looks at how we send messages and communicate with others as well as how we understand and interpret the messages that are sent to us. Speech and Language Therapists can also help individuals with exploring the social context of language, providing support to those who might struggle with communication within a social context. Speech and language therapy is for people of all ages. Individuals may need different levels of support across the lifespan.
Before your first session with a Speech and Language Therapist you should reflect on your communication, or if attending with your child, their communication. You should also spend some time thinking about what it is you are hoping or expecting will change from working with your Speech and Language Therapist. Your first session is a chance for you and your therapist to get to know each other. Initially, there may be a lot of observation as you begin to build a relationship with your therapist and interact with one another. If you are attending a session with your child, they may be encouraged to play.
Speech and language therapists use both formal and informal tools and techniques in their assessments. Informal tools the therapist might use include observation, creating opportunities for play, or providing direction for opportunities so that parents can interact with their child. During these informal sessions there is a lot of opportunity for learning. Speech and Language Therapists may also use formal assessment tools to gather information about your communication methods. One example of a more formal tool is questionnaires. The therapist might ask you to fill in forms reflecting on your communication. These questionnaires could be completed in advance of a session, or you may even complete them during the session with the Speech and Language Therapist.