It is important that you choose the right speech pathologist for YOU. The speech pathologist helping your friend’s child achieve significant progress is not necessarily the speech pathologist that can best support you and your family’s needs.
To achieve the best outcomes in therapy, you need to work with a speech pathologist who understands you and your goals, who works with you to establish a therapy plan based on current research and fits your family life and schedule.
Here are 10 questions to consider when choosing the right speech pathologist for YOU.
1. Do you feel a rapport with your speech pathologist?
Rapport is the feeling of a friendly, harmonious relationship. Does your speech pathologist have a rapport with their client? Is it a close working relationship based on an understanding of the client’s feelings and ideas? In the case of paediatric clients, does the speech pathologist have a warm bond with the child?
2. Is your speech pathologist experienced and knowledgeable about your condition?
It’s ok to ask your speech pathologist about their experience with similar cases and their knowledge of your condition. You can ask them about their treatment philosophy and approach to working with you as a client.
3. Is your speech pathologist a member of their professional body?
Speech Pathology Australia (SPA) is the national professional association that upholds speech pathologists’ practice standards and monitors ongoing professional development. Registration with SPA is not essential for speech pathologists within Australia. However, you can be assured that a speech pathologist who is a member of the association actively pursues ongoing professional development and has earned the title of Certified Practising Speech Pathologist.
4. Is your speech pathologist connected to mentors within the profession?
To maintain the highest professional standards, speech pathologists should be continually seeking to improve their clinical skills. This includes learning from others in the profession and developing relationships with those who advise and guide them through challenging clinical decisions.
5. Is your speech pathologist focused on you and your goals?
The best speech pathologists are client-focused. You should feel listened to and understood. Therapy goals and plans should be discussed and made in conjunction with clients. When a speech pathologist has suggested a goal, they should provide you with a clear rationale and explain how this fits in with your overall communication plan.
6. Is your speech pathologist a team player?
Whilst many speech pathologists work in single discipline practices; they should be an integral part of your therapy team. Speech pathologists should communicate regularly with others involved in their clients’ care - teachers, psychologists, medical professionals, other allied health professionals, and carers.
7. Is your speech pathologist part of family-centred practice?
A family-centred practice believes that families are a critical part of a client’s support and care. Speech pathology services should be responsive to individual and family needs, and all services should be planned with the family, respecting each family’s cultural background and particular strengths and needs. Speech pathologists must respect each family’s beliefs and traditions. The speech pathology practice should provide you with the information and support you need to make the best treatment decisions. Family members should be encouraged to share their knowledge and suggestions for the client’s care and be free to ask questions and help identify the client’s goals.
8. Do you feel comfortable and relaxed with your speech pathologist?
Are you relaxed within the therapy space? Is the environment suitable for your needs? Do you feel as though you can discuss your concerns openly with your speech pathologist? Does your speech pathologist give you the information you need to understand the therapy process and service delivery?
9. Is your speech pathologist honest about your goals and therapy?
Does your speech pathologist answer your questions openly and honestly? Sometimes it may be necessary for your speech pathologist to give you information or advice that you don’t understand or agree with. Will your speech pathologist give you answers whether you like the response or not?
10. Do you respect and trust your speech pathologist?
When your speech pathologist recommends a course of action or an approach to therapy, are they able to give you a good, evidence-based rationale? Can they explain assessment results and therapy strategies to your satisfaction so that you trust their recommendations?
Our team of speech pathologists have a diverse range of personalities and clinical experience. We are confident that we can find the right speech pathologist for you. Our wonderful reception staff will listen to your concerns and match you with the speech pathologist who will best suit your needs. Ready to make an appointment? Make a booking here.