Remember, when you ask better questions—you get better answers!
As a parent, you have a vested interest in how your child is doing in his/her speech therapy. Some of you are fortunate and can actually speak to your child’s therapist in person—but many children get speech therapy in school and your communication with your child’s SLP is primarily via email (if you are reading this and you do not communicate with your child’s therapist—then START DOING SO!!)
So, if you are lucky enough to be in the waiting room, upon completion of the session you typically ask something to the effect of “Well, how was she today?!?” to which your therapist usually responds “Great!”
Then you head home and think, “What does great mean?” Well, to be honest, nothing. Next time, try one (or all!) of these questions:
1. What were your goals for today’s session?
2. What appears to be most difficult for my child?
3. What appears to be easier for my child?
4. Do you have any concerns with how my child is progressing?
5. What can I do at home to facilitate progress?
If your child gets therapy at school or your babysitter/family member takes your child to therapy—consider using a communication notebook. Sometimes as we are treating, it is so easy for us to quickly jot down some of the finer (and not so finer!) points of the session. I know a notebook may seem antiquated, but sometimes we do not have time to compose an email after our day and it is always best to communicate as soon after the session as possible while the information is fresh. Also—you can write back to your child’s therapist in this notebook and ask questions/comment, etc. If your child gets other therapies, consider having all of the therapists communicate this way. Another option, if you have multiple therapists, is a closed Facebook page. This becomes nice because you have a timeline inherently set up. Also, you can post pictures of your child in action and it will give your therapists topic ideas to talk to her about. You can also encourage your therapists to post videos of your child in therapy! I have also had clients use Wiki spaces and Daily Superhero with success.
*Remember, the students who have the most involved parents typically garner the greatest successes because the targeted goals do not stop in the therapy room, but happen at home (and at the park!) as well.