Speech therapy

Hello my name is Kassandra Estrada. I am currently a senior at CSUF. As professionals, when is it ideal for parents to seek help if they think their child is beginning to stutter. Should they wait or seek help as soon as they can? How can parents know? 

thank you!

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Speech therapy — 3 Comments

  1. Dear Kassandra,

    HI! Congrats on being a senior at CSUF! Where are you going to next? Do early?!

    Parents can seek out help and a consult as soon as they wish. There is a guideline for some SLPs that parents might wait for about 3-6 months after core disfluencies (part word rep, prolongations, and blocks) occur. And, if parents want to see out SLPs for education and an evaluation we want to encourage them to do so any time.

    One thing that happens often enough is that parents contact their primary care physicians who tell them to wait and see. Then years go by. I don’t say this in any way to put down doctors. They have to remember and know SO MANY things, and, they are not speech language pathologist, just like we are not doctors of medicine. So, encouraging parents to contact SLPs with question and a desire for and evaluation any time is increasing education and the connection with the people that they need earlier and often.

    We always want to thanks parents for being advocates for their children.

    Does that help? I will let my colleagues chime in with their wonderful thoughts too!
    With compassion and kindness,

  2. Hey Kassandra!
    I feel, be it for stuttering or anything else that’s bothering a parent, it’s never too early to seek help. Parents should be encouraged to visit an SLP even if they have the slightest doubt about anything to do with their child’s communication.
    The SLP can then take a call on whether to work directly with the child, or guide the parents and the family for the time-being. In either case, alleviating parental anxiety benefits the child in more ways than one.. first, in the form of timely help, and second, in the form of a happy parent!

    Wishing you the best for your future plans.

  3. Hi Kassandra-
    What great questions you ask! The other two professionals have given you such great insight already. I’ll add just a few other thoughts.

    I definitely think that if a parent is concerned – then reaching out to an SLP is a wonderful thing to do. This does not mean that therapy or even an evaluation will be recommended at that time; however, the parent is able to talk through their concerns and together the parent and SLP can come to a decision on the next steps.

    I often talk with parents, develop rapport, answer questions, allow them to talk about worries, etc. and not recommend an evaluation at that time. I do then keep in touch with these parents on a check-in basis and sometimes we schedule an evaluation down the line and at other times we don’t end up doing so. This allows them, though, to connect with a professional and communicate regularly. I’ve also scheduled evaluations at times and then not recommended therapy immediately after. In these cases, it helps me to gather a baseline of where a child is at that moment and then take all that I know to recommend the next steps – whether it be therapy or monitoring.

    I think what’s really important here is that these decisions need to be made on a case-by-case basis. Does that help/make sense?