It’s common to assume that each and every speech and language therapy provider across the UK right now is of the same calibre and equally capable. The reason ofcourse being that to get into the industry in the first place and practice legitimately demands certain skills, qualifications and experience, which in turn should see all such workers on something of a level pegging.
Sadly, things in the real world aren’t always as black and white as they seem – this being no exception to the rule. As is the case across all industries and the medical/healthcare sector in general, there will always be those that are practicing at much higher levels than others. In terms of speech and language specialists, what’s important to remember is that qualifying to become such a professional may indeed take commitment, but it takes more than just a certificate on the wall to make a truly world-class therapist for your child’s benefit.
Strength of Qualifications
For example, there’s a difference between a qualified therapist and a supremely qualified therapist – the latter having gone much further than just ticking the necessary boxes. While all will have studied at university for their qualifications, some will have attended the UK’s very best educational institutions. While some will have pulled together the bare minimum by way of certification and qualifications, others will have certificates, training course completions and general educational awards by the barrel-load.
The simple fact of the matter here is that it’s up to you to ensure your child is put in the care of the best professional for the job and those working in the industry both know and support this. As such, you should never be afraid to ask as many questions as necessary about their qualifications in advance – you’re not prying, you’re being proactive.
Something else to be very much aware of is the way in which all the qualifications in the world may still not add up to a great deal when put into practice, unless backed with the necessary experience. For example, a therapist with decent qualifications and a lifetime’s experience working at the industry’s highest levels will often prove to be far more capable than a stupendously well-educated therapist with little to no experience in a real-life working setting.
The key therefore is to strike the ideal balance between the two which will again involve asking the right questions. Chances are the therapist’s website will tell much of their story and let you know who they are, what they do and how long they’ve been doing it for, but if this isn’t the case it really is imperative that you ask outright.
Following on, if the therapist has indeed been in business for some time and has helped plenty of patients along the way, they’ll naturally have an abundance of case studies and success stories to share with you. Unsurprisingly, when and where a child’s speech and language development issues face a turbulent patch only to then be addressed and remedied by a professional, parents generally cannot help but sing the therapist’s praises and express their gratitude. Likewise, when a lower-grade therapist doesn’t offer any real help at all, they’re unlikely to keep their feelings quiet.
In either case, you’ll definitely be able to find out exactly how the therapist works when put to the test with real-life cases, more often than not with a quick look online. If they’re not in the habit of sharing such information openly, you need only carry out a quick web search to see what’s being said on their behalf.
The Right Attitude
Last but not least, along with qualifications, experience and encouraging success stories, what’s also of crucial importance is choosing a therapist that both you and your child are able to get along with. There will always be those therapists who immediately get along with the whole family and somehow feel more like a friend than an outsider from the very word go, while others will inherently bring personality clashes into the equation.
Once again, the key thing to remember here is that the only thing that matters is the care provided to your child and their resulting progress. As such, you need never feel as if you’re under any kind of obligation to go with any specific therapist, or to stay with any therapist after having signed up. If it doesn’t feel like the right ‘blend’ with you and your family, you owe it to all of you to look elsewhere.