Key things to look for in your clinician:
- As a client, you want to be confident that your speech-language pathologist is experienced, focused, and able to cater to your unique needs. Unfortunately, too many professionals work outside their specialization, and in turn, at the client's expense. We highly recommend that you do your research to find a speciality clinic that has the knowledge, experience and know-how to help you achieve your optimal results.
- Is the clinician a new graduate? New graduates in speech therapy are excellent clinicians and well prepared to help you reach your communication goals. Nonetheless, in this case, we recommend that you choose a clinician that is supervised by a more experienced speech-language pathologist who can serve as a second set of eyes (and ears!).
- Is this person listening more than they are talking? Please consider if your speech-language pathologist is being an active listener and providing you with the appropriate safe space to be heard. If a clinician is lecturing the client, rather than working with them, this might be a red flag.
- Is this person drawing out the assessment process? For most clients who do not require a comprehensive report, the assessment and treatment process should be fluid. Ideally, the speech-language pathologist will conduct an efficient initial assessment and start helping you reach the first milestone, while constantly monitoring and re-assessing your progress. Your time and insurance funding is valuable and should not be disproportionately allocated to the assessment.
- Are you working with an assistant? Some speech-language pathologists use assistants to help them work with more clients. This doesn't benefit you. You want to make sure that the person you are working with is a registered speech therapist.
- Lastly, and importantly, does this person treat you with respect? Do they respond to email in a timely manner? Do they model exceptional communication for you? And, how much do you genuinely like him or her? If you hear yourself answering "no" to any of these questions, then trust your instinct and find another clinician.
At Well Said: Toronto Speech Therapy, we offer initial consultations as a way to meet your potential speech-language pathologist in person to interview them on how they would approach treating your concerns or goals. You can schedule this appointment conveniently online.