Mar 8, 2020 This article will serve as a general guideline to help you understand your child, their communication, and when it’s the right time to stop attending speech therapy and using the Speech Blubs app.
When it comes to speech therapy sessions, and even the Speech Blubs app, the amount of time spent on speech therapy will completely depend on your child. It’s important to follow your child at their own pace and to not rush them, while still ensuring that you help them along the way.
It’s important to follow your child at their own pace and to not rush them
What the Research Shows
While there is no set timeline as to how long your child will need to attend speech therapy and use the Speech Blubs app, research does show that the frequency, intensity, and duration of speech therapy does impact communication outcomes.
- Frequency is the number of speech therapy sessions your child attends over a set period of time (usually measured per week or per month).
- Intensity generally refers to how long each of your child’s individual therapy sessions is, the goals that the speech therapist sets, and the level of difficulty of the activities that the speech therapist conducts.
- Duration is for how long your child is in speech therapy entirely (usually measured in years).
Research conducted by the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA) has shown that six out of seven studies favored a greater amount of treatment and that treatment results are better when the duration is over eight weeks.
In addition to these factors, the type of disorder that your child has will also affect how long they require speech therapy and need to use the Speech Blubs app.
- Articulation and phonological processing disorders usually require 30-minute sessions twice a week. If the disorder is mild to moderate in severity, and your child attends speech therapy regularly, then the total duration of treatment could be approximately four to five months. However, this is a rough estimate which usually accounts for the fact that families practice speech therapy homework between sessions (such as using the Speech Blubs app) as well.
- Language disorders (which generally include aspects of cognition, expressive and receptive language skills, and pragmatic language skills) usually require a longer period of treatment time than articulation and phonological processing disorders, though this is dependent on the outcomes of your child’s initial assessment.
The involvement of parents and families in your child’s speech therapy journey cannot be underestimated. Remember, speech therapists provide specific therapy targets, but only see your child for 30-60 minutes per week – you spend far more time with your child than they do, and research has verified that children make faster progress when their parents and families utilize the speech therapist’s strategies to target therapy goals in the everyday environment at home.
The same goes for the Speech Blubs app. Engaging with your child while they are using the Speech Blubs app promotes better-structured screen time, faster learning, and greater retention.
As a general rule, the more errors or areas of difficulty that your child presents with, the longer the duration of their treatment will need to be.
What Are The Signs That My Child is Ready to Stop Attending Speech Therapy and Using the Speech Blubs App?
Ironically, many parents want their children to continue speech therapy even after the speech therapist has recommended that their therapy be terminated. This is because a lot of parents worry that their child will regress and that all the progress gained will be lost. This is a perfectly rational and acceptable fear, however, if your child displays the following, then you will know that it is time for therapy to be terminated:
- The speech therapy goals that the speech therapist recommended have all been achieved.
- Your child’s speech difficulties are no longer producing an adverse educational and communicative effect.
- Your child’s confidence has soared, and they no longer feel self-conscious to communicate and let themselves be heard.
While it’s great that your child can stop receiving speech therapy services due to positive outcomes, there can also be some unfortunate reasons that speech therapy may need to be terminated – though these are generally only temporary:
- Your child is no longer motivated to attend speech therapy sessions or use the Speech Bubs app.
- Your child has plateaued, and progress is no longer being made in speech therapy sessions.
- Your child’s behavior is making the delivery of effective speech therapy treatment impossible.
With the exception of the first case, Speech Blubs is a prime tool to use to keep your child engaged and receiving speech therapy treatment without them even knowing it!
Your child’s speech therapist may mention “maintenance therapy” when discharging your child from speech therapy. Maintenance therapy is a kind of speech therapy that is designed to help a primary treatment succeed – i.e., your child’s now established communication abilities.
Maintenance therapy can be used in two way:
- A slow tapering off from regular therapy – meaning that the frequency, intensity, and duration of speech therapy are all gradually reduced until your child is no longer attending therapy.
- An intermittent therapy to revise therapy goals – meaning that follow up sessions occur every few weeks or months, and any regression is targeted if and when it arises.
The Speech Blubs app is perfect for both of these maintenance therapy types. A slow tapering off from regular Speech Blubs use is recommended, and intermittent speech therapy using the app is recommended thereafter. So, the best thing you can do to help your child retain their communication skills is to keep the app downloaded until your child shows absolutely no regression whatsoever, and you find that you simply don’t need the app anymore.
Knowing when to stop your child’s speech therapy and Speech Blubs app use can be scary, as big changes generally are; however, you always have an ally with Speech Blubs.
Speech Blubs allows you to work on some fantastic communication-centered activities to help you and your child maintain their communication speech therapy goals. You can even contact us for additional support if you’re not sure what your next steps should be.
Reach out when you have questions on how to use Speech Blubs to improve speech at home!