Taking the first step toward rehabilitation is always the hardest part of recovery. Let us alleviate some of that stress by planning an individual care plan specific to YOU. As highly experienced and passionate speech therapists, we make it our goal to treat each patient as an individual, with respect to their own interests, preferences, and concerns. Your speech therapist will take the time to make a comprehensive plan of care specific to YOU.
Let me take you through a typical day as a new patient.
Upon completion of our intake form, a licensed speech therapist will talk to you and your loved ones about what brought you in to see us. If you don't know exactly where to start, that's fine! We understand how new and challenging this might be. Let us ask questions, and you just answer them to the best of your ability. Questions may include things like medical history, prior level of function, current level of function, and what you're hoping to get out of therapy. We also ask about your areas of interest such as favorite hobbies, places you enjoy visiting, who you communicate with most, subject preferences, etc. These personal interest questions come into play later when we create therapy sessions that incorporate your areas of interest.
For example, if communication difficulties keep you from ordering your favorite meal at In & Out Burger, we might download their menu and work on scripts for ordering so you can feel confident the next time you enter their drive thru. If you inform us that enjoy gardening, we might create unique sessions centered around gardening to increase your participation and enjoyment.
Once we are through with the preliminary questions, we will administer assessments specific to your concerns. During the assessment period, we make sure to go at a pace that is comfortable for you and always offer breaks as needed. These assessments will give us a deeper understanding of your specific strengths and weaknesses. Of course, you can ask any questions you might have at any time, it's what we are here for!
Throughout this whole process, we believe in using a person-centered therapy approach. This means we take into account what you want to gain out of therapy, your interests, and your current level of functioning. This helps us make therapy functional, individualized, and engaging!
Now that the assessment is complete and we have a general understanding of your case, we dive right into therapy. Yep, we waste no time and start therapy on your very first visit.
In that first session, we may administer a variety of treatment techniques to gauge where you are at in your rehabilitation and what works best for YOU. We might employ restorative strategies such as semantic feature analysis to increase neural networking that aids in expressive language abilities. We may test out compensatory strategies such as using a memory book to help with tasks of daily living (e.g., taking medication, remembering appointments, etc). We may practice oral motor exercises that aim to restore swallowing abilities. The list goes on!
Just like no two people are the same, no two treatment plans are the same. Once the session has ended, the speech therapist will review your evaluation. We always correspond with you or your loved one to ensure the care plan aligns with your concerns and goals.
At this point, we will have created a unique and comprehensive care plan that outlines your strengths, weaknesses, long-term goals, short-term objectives, prognosis, and recommendations for the future. We also include recommendations for at-home practice because a crucial part of recovery is to keep practicing, even outside of therapy. The next step is to set up your weekly therapy schedule.
Again, the hardest part is making that first step, but once you do, the rewards are endless. Let us be a helping hand throughout your journey to recovery.