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Is more Speech & Language therapy always better?

As a Speech and Language Therapist, I get asked these questions a lot :

“Do more sessions guarantee better outcomes?”

“I want to have 5 sessions per week for my child. Do you have any available slots?”

Here are my thoughts on the subject :

#1: The number of speech & language pathology sessions needed can never be determined prior to an assessment. Anyone that tells you otherwise is not basing their decision on an objective measurement of your child’s present needs.

#2: It is understandable that as a parent, you want your child to catch up and develop speech, language, cognitive and academic skills, BUT we have to follow their pace! Rushing children to develop a skill that they are not ready for will only provoke an emotional distress and make things worse. It’s also a waste of your resources: time, money and energy.

#3: Overstimulation is bad for your child’s brain. Children need time to process informationin between sessions. Overloading their brain with continuous stimulation backfires. Kids need FREE time every single day! Filling their afternoons with activities and loads of sessions will not do them any good.

#4: The real INTERVENTION happens at home-in between sessions. If you take advantage of your child’s routine and embed intervention goals in daily activities, you will notice a quick progress!

#5: I rarely recommend 3/4 sessions a week, unless the child shows difficulties at many levels. This is only for kids who are older than 10 years old who can handle more stimulation. I usually recommend working in different settings to allow generalization, e.g. social skills group, literacy and executive functioning group/individual session, speech and language individual session, or even teaching 2 different languages to bilingual children in different sessions, home/school sessions etc...

#6: Your child’s behavior is always a reflection of how they feel. Acting out might sometimes be triggered by an OVER-STIMULATION and could be a cry for help.

We all want the best for kids. That being said, more is not always better.

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