Ages and Stages, Speech & Language, Uncategorized

31 for 21: How much speech therapy does a child with Down syndrome need?

Okay fearless followers – How much? Once a week…once a month…never? How much speech therapy does a child with DS really need? It should be obvious that as needs change so does the frequency of therapy. Right? Do you need more when you’re 2 years old or when you’re 12 years old? When do you stop therapy? Is it for life?

I have my own opinion on the frequency and duration of therapy. And I will share it in another post. For now, I want to hear from you. Over the last month Talk-DS has had visits from 24 different countries. I’d love to know what kinds of services are available in your part of the world.

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6 thoughts on “31 for 21: How much speech therapy does a child with Down syndrome need?”

  1. Do you think that each individual child is different? We see progress with my daughter (on most visits). If we start to not see progress, I will do everything I can to up the frequency of our therapy. Although…she is fully immersed in conversation and communication at home!

  2. My daughter, which is now 12 years old, started speech therapy weekly at 3 weeks old (working more on feeding, and working on muscle tone, rather than sounds at first.) Through elementary school, we continued weekly during summers and every other week during the school year, since she was getting school speech therapy as well. I also arranged for the two therapists to communicate so they were complimenting each other. Last summer we changed from individual therapy to a group setting for communication with peers. That went well and I highly recommend it. By 12, I believe they are going to get the “sounds” they are going to get. It is learning to be “intelligible” and able to be understood with complete strangers in the event of an emergency that is important to me now. As her therapist for many years left the therapy place we were at, and I didn’t care for the attitude of the school therapist, I personally discharged her from both therapy sessions. Does that mean I don’t work on, proper phrasings? No, of course I do. But again, I am working on how to communicate feelings and thoughts, not how to produce a certain sound of a word. Except when my daughter gets to talking fast, I feel she is understood fairly well. Last summer there was a situation (a friend dropped her fishing pole off the dock at the lake) – Baylee proved she could communicate to a complete stranger – went around to a swimmer off the 2nd dock and told them, they dove down and got the pole. She did this all by herself! The teenager watching her, wasn’t happy, as Baylee left the dock without permission and would not come back when called. My husband and I were thrilled – in an emergency, she assessed and communicated a solution to a problem.

  3. We have speech therapy (with a therapist) at the very least, once every 2nd week….that said, speech therapy continues at home, every day… We don’t have a break, it’s incorporated into everyday life. I live in Victoria, Australia and if we needed more visits we could have them… 🙂

    1. This is very similar to services in Ohio. Many children come every other week to speech therapy at a clinic. And I love that speech continues in your home – That’s where it’s most needed!
      Thanks for sharing – Jennifer

  4. Gretchen, Thanks for your reply! Do you have a maximum number of speech visits per year as determined by the insurance company? Many families in our area are limited to 20.
    In Hamilton County, OH many of our families receive once per month home visits from early intervention. With budget cuts the PT, OT, or Speech home visits are infrequent at best. Is your weekly EI with a developmental interventionist or other allied health provider.
    I appreciate you joining the conversation – Jennifer

  5. I think in the early years the more speech therapy the better! Right now I have a 28 month old son with Down syndrome who receives once per week through the early intervention state funded program (we are in Massachusetts). and we also do once per week private therapy that is covered with a $15 co pay through our insurance. We have blue cross blue shield of massachusetts PPO plan.

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