How To Find The Best Speech Therapist for Children
Written by Pliro
Nov 1, 2018 Last updated: Mar 29, 2019
Pakistan has a population of over 195 million people and over 10% of them suffer from some kind of speech or hearing pathology. This statistic makes necessary to pay attention to this issue since we’re likely to meet several people with these problems during our lifetime.
Lack Of Specialists
Although the need is present, almost no help was provided to this community until the late 2000’s. The situation has not improved a lot since those times. Currently the precise numbers of qualified personnel capable of providing proper care for people with speech impediments or pathologies is unknown. However, the most recent information suggest that this number is below 100 in all of Pakistan. This is obviously a very serious due to the sheer size of the affected people.
Around 7 to 8 million Pakistani children are also in need of care, which is rather noteworthy since child speech therapists are especially rare.
How To Find a Therapist
In this article we’ll our best to provide you useful tips on how to find a speech therapist for your child/s.
Asking your pediatrician is a perfectly valid option to get a referral to a professional speech therapist. If some aspects of your child’s condition have been evaluated by a doctor then you can ask for a referral.
Ask his/hers teachers:
Schools need to deal with this type of issue fairly often. It is highly probable that they have useful information about specialists that may be able to help. Developed countries even have a protocol to automatically provide this information if they consider it might be useful for the parents.
In Pakistan this option is probably one of the best. Colleges usually have especial programs for very particular issues. Asking for programs, institutions or other entities capable of providing help is an excellent idea. For example: Ziauddin University
Public or private databases:
The internet is full of useful contact information that particular individuals may not have. Take a look at data bases of private clinics and public hospitals, also, some websites exist only to provide this data to the general public. Examples:
1. Speech Therapists Website
2. Speech pathologists in Islamabad
Some (not all) insurance companies cover speech therapy for children and have within their databases a list of approved professionals.
Ask for their qualifications:
Any useful speech therapist will be certified by some national or international institution. Even if they provide this information is your responsibility towards your children to do some research. You have to ensure their references are real. This can be done by calling their university, finding their published research, asking the clinic/ hospital/ university, etc.
Verify that they are specialized to treat children
Children require a different type of training than adults. You need to confirm if they are OK with treating children. This can be done over the phone or during an initial consultation.
Check for their experience:
This may be not be possible every time, but it is always best (if you have the option) to be treated by someone with several years of experience.