Frequently Asked Questions

Getting Started : How Questions

As a parent, you may have had someone express concerns about your child’s speech. Perhaps you have been the one to notice that your child’s talking seems a little different to their peers. This might be something you have been worried about for a while or perhaps the news of your child’s difficulties has come as a shock. This can be a worrying time, deciding whether to do something about these concerns or wait and see.

At Therapy Matters, we would always encourage you to act as early as possible. Early intervention is always a wise investment in child development. However, we know that in making the decision to act early, parents often have many questions …

How long will my child need to come to speech therapy? How many appointments will they need?

  • Every child is different. This means that your child will show us the appropriate pace to move through therapy.
  • Every child has different goals that will help them achieve their potential. We carefully move through these goals at the pace at which your child is learning.
  • Factors that influence how long therapy may take include: the complexity of your child’s difficulties, the number of goals that need to be addressed, how regularly therapy is attended and how much homework is completed.
  • Speech Therapy is rarely a ‘quick fix’ and it can take months or even years to make significant progress. Some children may need successive blocks of therapy to meet their needs well into primary school and beyond.
  • Your child’s therapist will be able to provide more specific details for your child’s situation.

How can I find the right therapist for my child?

  • We take great care in listening to you about your child’s temperament and therapy needs as well as your family’s availability.
  • We take time and effort to match children, therapists & parents together in a responsive way.
  • We know it is important for parents to do their own research too. We always provide comprehensive information about our therapists that is always available on our Our Team page.
  • 30% of effective therapy outcomes are due to the relationship and connection between the client and therapist. First impressions count, so we are on the same page as you in making sure that the fit and connection are right.
  • Our therapists are flexible, versatile and child-centred so they can usually shift and meld their style to match a child’s needs. We are always open to feedback and advice from parents if the match or fit isn’t right.

How much parental involvement is needed in sessions and for homework?

  • In order to make progress, we need to collaborate and work together with you to achieve your child’s goals.
  • We expect parents will always attend our clinic-based sessions. We encourage the parents of our school clients to attend whenever possible.
  • Parents often enjoy watching their child work with the therapist and learning tips on how to help.
  • At times our therapists may hand the reigns over to you and we will use a coaching model to help you know what to do at home.
  • Parents who are involved in speech therapy typically see greater outcomes and impacts.
  • We will take the time to understand your family circumstances so that the way that we set homework is responsive and practical for your needs.
  • Some therapy approaches need set times for home practice and other approaches can work with strategies in everyday routines.

How long are the sessions?

  • Our assessment sessions are 90 minutes but can be split into two 45-minute sessions
  • Our therapy sessions are always 45 minutes.
  • Sometimes parents ask for shorter sessions (e.g. 30 minutes). This doesn’t allow time to work substantially with the child to achieve goals or collaborate with parents. We do not offer this option unless clinically recommended by the research evidence.
  • During our 25+ years of practice, we have found that standard 45-minute sessions contribute consistently to improved outcomes for clients.

How often will we need to attend?

  • Clients typically attend weekly or fortnightly depending upon the family’s availability and the type of intervention provided.
  • Some intervention approaches require weekly therapy and other approaches require intensive blocks of 2-3 times a week.
  • Sometimes parents ask for monthly therapy. We do not support this as it is usually insufficient to achieve goals and quality outcomes.
  • Families who attend less frequently could be expected to do more practice in between sessions to see the same gains as other weekly clients.

More Questions : What & Why

After you have made that first step and booked your first appointment with us, there may be new questions that pop up …

Why does my child have communication difficulties?

  • We don’t know what causes many communication disorders.
  • Some communication problems might have genetic links or run in families.
  • Other communication difficulties might be impacted by family circumstances or a language learning environment (e.g. excessive screen time in young children)
  • Sometimes children have communication disorders and no other developmental concerns.
  • Sometimes children have communication disorders along with other health or developmental conditions. These conditions include: autism, ADHD, cerebral palsy, cleft lip and/or palate, Down syndrome or other genetic conditions, deafness or hearing loss and intellectual disability

Will they grow out of it?

  • Learning to speak takes time. All children progress at their own pace.
  • Over time, some children may make improvements without help but this may take too long and have impacts while waiting to their self-esteem, relationships and learning.
  • Other children may struggle for years without intervention and be at risk for persisting difficulties through the school years, slowed progression with reading, writing and overall school achievement, bullying, and difficulties making friends.
  • Only a speech pathologist has the expertise to tell the difference between different communication difficulties and their likely trajectory.
  • A speech pathologist can advise if your child is likely to grow out of their difficulties and what to expect with and without intervention.

Can my child see more than one speech pathologist?

  • There are only a few scenarios that ethically and practically are appropriate to see more than one speech pathologist:
  • if they need help in completely separate areas of development (e.g. communication and feeding) or
  • if they need to combine different experience levels of speech pathologists to achieve a more intensive service or access a therapist with clinical expertise in a specialty area (e.g. experienced and inexperienced therapist collaborating)
  • Neither Therapy Matters nor the NDIS supports children being overserviced or overscheduled with multiple therapy services or seeing different therapists from different organisations.
  • Such situations often lead to child and carer burnout and are rarely in the child’s best interest with competing intervention approaches, poor progress and disjointed services often the result.

What if my child and the therapist don’t ‘click’?

  • Occasionally this happens.
  • Just as every child is unique, so every therapist is unique in their approach, temperament, skills and knowledge.
  • If you have any concerns about a mismatch between your child and their therapist, please reach out and let us know so that we can help.
  • Our team are flexible, versatile and keen to listen to any feedback you have.
  • We want your child to have fun and make great progress so we will do what we can to ensure this happens.

We hope the answers to these FAQ are helpful.

Please feel free to contact us if you have any other questions or if you need more information.

We are here to help.