What happens in a therapy session?

In collaboration with parents, our speech pathologists set goals and a direction for therapy. The therapist will utilise therapy techniques that are recommended through research and experience. Each therapy session will be individualised to meet the goals, interests and temperament of the child.

A typical session may include a balance of activities at the table, on the whiteboard or on the floor depending upon the age and needs of the client. Activities may involve toys, games, books, stories, singing, worksheets and when appropriate technology (e.g. computer programs or iPad apps). Sessions aim to be fun, interesting and engaging. Parents are always expected to attend sessions with so that they can see how to implement activities and strategies at home.

Most children love their therapy sessions and if they don’t then we problem solve why. Therapy should never be an unpleasant experience. Young children learn through play and therapy goals are often ‘disguised’ in a game or activity. It may just look like we are playing but there are always specific rationales and goals behind the activity. For older children there are always opportunities for fun activities alongside the more structured tasks. Always ask your therapist if you are unsure about the goals of a session. Your child’s successes and effort will always be positively rewarded and they should finish the session feeling successful and positive.

How can I help?


Your child’s therapist will share strategies that you can do to help your child at home. Some of these strategies may be listed in your child’s report and others you will pick up along the way. Activities from the session might be placed in a scrapbook. Your therapist will explain how to do these activities at home.

As a parent you are the expert on your child and we value your input. We aim to work in partnership with you and your family as you support your child’s communication skills in between sessions. All families are unique in their dynamics, relationships and time resources. We know that families are busy and often time poor so we’ll work with you to design responsive activities. There are a range of ways that families can reinforce tasks done in therapy sessions. Some families and children prefer to complete worksheets, some prefer games and others may prefer to build activities into their daily routines. Supporting your child at home by carrying out activities in between sessions will maximize their progress. This helps the child develop skills more rapidly and may reduce therapy time and costs too!

The general rules are to keep home practice short and sweet and keep the interest level high. Be patient. Offer praise and encouragement. Don’t persevere with tasks that seem too difficult and above all make learning fun through playfulness, humour and imagination.

Your speech pathologists will regularly review your child’s progress alongside goals. This information is shared with parents, sometimes through formal written progress reports but more often at the end of each therapy session. As each goal is achieved the therapist will set new goals that map out the further steps along the way to remediating the child’s problem.

Frequently Asked Questions

How often will my child need to have therapy?

This is usually discussed at the end of the initial assessment session. Most of our therapy appointments are offered weekly or fortnightly. Some therapy approaches need to be delivered at a particular intensity level to be effective (e.g. weekly Lidcombe intervention for stutterers or twice weekly therapy for motor speech disorders). Families who attend less frequently (e.g. fortnightly) could be expected to do more practice in between sessions to see the same gains as a weekly client.

How long will my child need therapy?

Your child is unique and 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. Other factors that may influence how long therapy may take include the number and type of goals that need to be addressed, how regularly therapy is attended and how much homework is completed. It’s important to remember that Speech Therapy is rarely a ‘quick fix’ and it can take a number of months or even years to make significant progress and some children may need successive blocks of therapy to meet their needs well into primary school and beyond.

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.

Can my child see more than one speech pathologist?

Most parents want the best for their child. Sometimes, at Therapy Matters a child needs to see more than one speech pathologist. If they need help in completely separate areas of development (e.g. communication and feeding) or they need to combine different experience levels of speech pathologists to schedule a more intensive service recommended by evidence (e.g. experienced and inexperienced therapist working together). We look at each of these scenarios carefully and ethically and consider carefully then impact on the child and the family to ensure that the arrangement is in their best interests. Neither Therapy Matters or the NDIS supports children being overserviced or overscheduled with multiple therapy services or seeing different speech therapists from different organisations. Such situations often lead to child and carer burn out and are rarely in the child’s best interest with competing intervention approaches, poor progress and disjointed services are often the result. Speak to our team if you are considering these arrangements for your child.