Embarking on a journey of self-improvement is a common aspiration, filled with the promise of exciting goals and a better version of oneself. However, the stark reality often reveals that the path to achieving these aspirations may not be as enjoyable as the vision initially painted. Whether it’s the desire to sculpt a toned physique or adopt healthier eating habits, the initial enthusiasm can wane when faced with the less-than-enthralling nature of the associated work.
When it comes to attending speech therapy appointments, consistency is crucial. This is true no matter what the age, diagnosis, severity of difficulties, and goals of the individual. While no two individuals have identical needs when it comes to the duration, frequency, intensity, or time period of treatment, one thing that applies to everyone doing speech therapy is the importance of consistency.
The success of speech therapy depends on the determination and commitment of the individual, and optimal results are achieved by regular speech therapy sessions and consistent effort.
If your child, a loved one, or yourself might benefit from speech therapy, you can learn more by scheduling your free introductory call today!
How Many Times a Week Should You Go to Speech Therapy?
The frequency of speech therapy sessions is based on the clinical recommendation of the speech and language pathologist. Most SLPs will recommend that sessions occur twice per week, especially at the beginning of treatment.
The development and mastery of speech and language skills take a great deal of repetition and practice. This means that the more often these skills are practiced and reinforced, the sooner speech therapy goals will be reached and treatment will be complete.
For some individuals, attending speech therapy once per week is preferred or is their only option. This would require a higher level of individual practice or “homework” to ensure the individual continues to make good progress.; In other situations, however, attending sessions more frequently will help solidify new techniques and skills and help the individual learn how and what to practice on their own.
As treatment progresses and some goals are being met, the speech therapist may then suggest reducing the frequency of sessions. However, if the individual is not progressing and meeting goals, they may recommend increasing the number of sessions per week. Capitalizing on momentum is an important element of speech therapy and its success.
Why Regular Speech Therapy Attendance is Crucial
As consistency in speech therapy sessions helps us reach our goals faster, there are also some other overall benefits of consistency in speech therapy. These include:
The Development of a Routine – When we know what to expect each time, frustrations and anxieties are often eased. It isn’t necessary to spend valuable time re-establishing trust and expectations, which in turn creates an environment that is engaging, welcoming, and fun, and time and energy can be spent working towards goals.
Building Strong Relationships – The truth is, speech therapy can be very hard work and requires the individual to challenge themself. This is why it is so important to have a relationship with your therapist that is founded on trust, respect, and genuine support. An individual who consistently shows up is going to arrive with positive feelings around their session, is ready to learn, and feels safe and comfortable. This type of relationship and environment takes time to establish and consistency to maintain.
Better, Customized Support – Speech therapy appointments are designed to fit the needs of the individual, and regular sessions mean the therapist has a good understanding of the progress and the most effective modes of learning, and they will tailor each session as necessary. This type of personalized help means that specific communication challenges are addressed, and steady progress is made.
Regular Practice and Feedback – The success of speech therapy depends heavily on regular practice and feedback. Consistency in speech therapy attendance provides consistent opportunities to receive feedback from their therapist and practice their communication skills. This helps individuals to develop their skills faster and properly address any issues as they show up or develop.
Skill Reinforcement – Attending speech therapy appointments regularly helps to solidify and reinforce any progress that has been made while also encouraging to continue to work on communication skills outside of therapy appointments. The speech therapist will also provide encouragement and positive reinforcement to celebrate any achievements, goals, or milestones that are reached. They will also work with the individual to set new goals and ensure they continue to progress as time passes.
Develop Generalized Skills Faster – When speech therapy sessions are attended regularly and consistently, the goals of therapy will be at the forefront of the mind and will be thought about and practiced during daily life. This, in turn, means more chances to practice, reflect, and self-correct.
In general, consistency and regular attendance with speech therapy means individuals are met with ongoing support, customized attention and planning, and ample opportunities to solidify new skills, practice, work towards specific goals, and make steady progress in the pursuit of strong communication skills. Getting started with speech therapy through Great Speech is as easy as scheduling your free introductory call today!
The Role of Consistency in Treatment
Whenever we are working at learning something new, from a new dance routine to a new language, consistency is what allows us to master the new skill faster. This is true in speech therapy as well, with consistency considered to be the driver of success. The combination of consistent speech therapy appointments, effort, and home practice ensures regular progress in the development and mastery of communication skills. This means that skills are met sooner, and in many cases, speech therapy treatment can conclude sooner as well.
When speech therapy appointments are not consistently attended, progress will typically slow, and regression is much more likely during these times between sessions. If you, your loved one, or your child is progressing slower than was hoped for or anticipated, it might be worthwhile to consider more frequent sessions. Research has shown that children who often miss speech therapy sessions typically end up needing speech therapy for a longer duration of time. This is why it is highly important to create a speech therapy schedule that works for all involved parties.
With the approaching holiday season, speech therapy appointments may become less regular, and missing a session here and there won’t have major negative effects; however, resuming regular appointments in the New Year will be highly important to continue progressing.
If you think your child would benefit from speech therapy, don’t wait to get started. Schedule your free introductory call today!