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10 Questions to Ask a Speech-Language Pathologist Before Starting Speech Therapy

Thinking about starting speech therapy? We know a thing or two about it, but a lot of parents and caregivers don’t. We’re here to help. Here’s a list of questions we recommend asking a Speech-Language Pathologist (SLP) before starting speech therapy to make sure it is a fit for your family.

Questions for caregivers to ask SLPs

1. What is the process for starting speech or language therapy with you? Is there a wait list?

Each therapist and clinic uses different processes to begin therapy. Learn what starting speech therapy looks like with each company so you have a clear picture of the road ahead. Knowing if they have a waitlist will also give you a time estimate to help with scheduling.

2. Where will the sessions be and how long are they?

Speech therapy sessions can vary in length. It’s helpful to know how much time you are committing and where you’re committing to driving, or being at home during sessions each week.

3. What does a typical session look like?

A session usually has some structure including time to transition into and out of the session, time to target speech goals, and time to communicate with parents/caregivers.

4. When are goals developed and will I be provided with a written report?

If your child is new to speech and language therapy, usually an evaluation is needed to determine if speech therapy is warranted. That being said, this process could look different depending on the company. At Speech SF, we provide parents with an evaluation report, recommendations and goals within two weeks of completing the evaluation. This might be different at other clinics or in the schools.

5. What is your experience with (articulation, autism, language disorders, early intervention)?

If your child has specific needs, it’s important that your future SLP has experience in those areas. This does not mean they necessarily need to be an expert, but you might feel reassured knowing they have knowledge in the area and regularly work with children who have similar needs. Knowing this ahead of time ensures all members are comfortable with therapy arrangement. If the SLP doesn’t have experience with the area, ask for potential recommendations that do.

6. How do you involve families in the therapy? What is my role? Will I be in the room?

Each SLP has their own way of incorporating families. In the schools, it might be notes home or only during report card times. In private practice, parents have the opportunity to sit in the session and engage in therapy. In other clinics, parents might drop their child off and come back when the session is over. Understanding the parent/caregiver role helps set expectations before getting into therapy.

7. Will there be homework? Do we have to do it?

Ask if there are expectations of completing homework between sessions. Are there options such as adding an additional session or virtual session instead? Is it ok to slowly increase homework or is there no way additional homework time will fit into your schedule?

8. Do you take insurance or are you private pay? Are super-bills provided?

Find out what types of payments are accepted (e.g. card, check, insurance, HSA cards). If the clinic is private pay only, do they provide super-bills you can submit to your insurance independently?

9. What are the current rates and when will I be billed?

Rates in private clinics change! Ask for the current rates and the date they will bill you for services.

10. What does finished look like

What does ending speech therapy look like? Getting information on what the end of the speech therapy journey looks like gives you a full picture of the process. Learn this now to reduce surprises later.

You're ready!

We hope you have more clarity on how to decide if an SLP is the right fit for your child and family. Download the PDF version of these questions to have with you during your intake or consultation call.

Download PDF • 1.58MB

Interested in working with us?

Read more about speech therapy with Speech SF or schedule a consultation call below.


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