5 Tips for Choosing the Right Therapist for Your Child With Complex Communication Needs
It can be exhausting and frustrating constantly struggling to find the right company and the right therapist for your child with complex communication needs. You want to make sure that the therapist you choose is someone who is not only knowledgeable and experienced, but someone who also genuinely cares about your child and is invested in helping them reach their full potential.
Here are 5 tips to help you find the right therapist for your child:
1. Make sure the therapist has experience working with children with complex communication needs. There is a big difference between working with children who have speech delays and those who have difficulty communicating due to a more significant cognitive or developmental disability. You want to make sure that the therapist you choose has experience specifically working with children who have complex communication needs.
2. Find out what the therapist's process is for helping your child communicate not just their wants and needs, but their desires and fears as well. It is important that your child feels heard and understood by their therapist, and that they are given tools to help them express themselves in whatever way possible.
3. Ask the therapist about their thoughts on family-centered therapy. Family-centered therapy is an approach that recognizes and values the importance of families in providing support and care for their loved ones with disabilities. This type of therapy focuses on collaboration between therapists, families, and other professionals in order to provide comprehensive care that meets the individualized needs of each child.
4. Inquire about the types of low-tech and high-tech communication devices the therapist has experience working with. There are many different types of communication devices available nowadays, from simple picture boards to more sophisticated voice output devices. It is important to find a therapist who is familiar with a variety of devices and can help you determine which one would be best for your child.
5. Find out what the therapist's thoughts are on collaborations with education, medical, and other rehabilitation providers in order to help generalization. In order for your child to progress, it is often necessary for there to be a team of professionals working together towards common goals. Make sure that the therapist you choose is open to collaborating with other providers in order to provide comprehensive care for your child.
Choosing the right therapist for your child with complex communication needs can be a daunting task, but it is so important that you take the time to find someone who is knowledgeable, experienced, and invested in helping your child reach their full potential. Use these 10 tips as a starting point in your search for the perfect therapy team for your family!
By: Katherine H. Wallisch M.S., CCC-SLP, CAS, BCCS
Speech Language Pathologist
AAC & Autism Specialist