Bright Start’s Unique Approach to In-Home Speech Language Therapy in SC
Bright Start’s Unique Approach to In-Home Speech Language Therapy in South Carolina
Research has consistently demonstrated that speech therapy is more effective and consistent when therapy visits are performed in the home, instead of the clinic. Despite this, you’ll still find clinics that work primarily with in-office visits. One of our speech language pathologists (SLP), Lindsay, began her career in a clinical setting before finding the freedom to practice in-home visits with us. She outlines several important factors that influenced her decision to work in-home rather than in the clinic, including building trust with children, empowering families, and using teamwork to develop unique, differentiated care plans specific to each family.
As a passionate speech-language pathologist, Lindsay felt that in-clinic work didn’t allow her to practice how she wanted to, confining her to overly structured therapy plans that didn’t effectively meet the needs of each unique family. She wanted to serve families in their home environments, allowing her to observe their natural language and routines in a place that children feel most comfortable. “Our homes are almost like our sanctuary. It’s where we sleep. It’s where we would eat. It’s where our toys are. So as a child, that is our place,” she said. In-home visits help children feel safe and comfortable, building a sense of commonality and respect between the therapist and child. One of Lindsay’s primary teaching tools is interactive play, which involves purposeful playtime with the child, encouraging them to learn and practice communication in a fun, engaging way. When children can play in their own homes with their beloved toys, incredibly effective methods like intentional play help build this essential trust, respect, and excitement around therapy, so it’s something your child looks forward to every week. This is especially important for children who might fear going to the doctor, which would only worsen the potential anxiety they might feel going to a clinic for speech.
Facilitating the Parent-Child Relationship
One of the most important characteristics of in-home care is the facilitation of the parent-child relationship. SLPs can communicate directly with parents and caregivers, encouraging them to be active participants in their child’s learning. “It’s all about giving the tools to the family to make the difference,” she said. In-clinic work prioritizes the therapist-child relationship, which, while important, is a very brief part of a child’s life. They’ll see their therapist perhaps one or two hours a week. If families don’t know how to use the techniques a therapist develops for their child, progress is far less effective. Parents often see clinic visits like taking their child to the doctor – they receive treatment there, and only there. Lindsay might have two minutes to speak with them about what she did with their child. “When you’re with the family at home, you’re all on the floor together, learning—the parent, the child, the therapist,” Lindsay emphasized. It’s more of a team effort, which makes therapy far more effective, as parents become leaders in their child’s journey.
Empowered families become creative, active participants in shaping their child’s goals. Families have their own unique needs that can be addressed through therapy plans, like developing ways to improve functional communication in the home. “There are so many modes of communication,” Lindsay said, “but not every mode of communication is appropriate for every child or family.” In-home therapy allows therapists to tailor activities and plans to meet the family’s goals, whether it’s using high tech communication or teaching a child how to tug or point when they need something.
Speech-language pathologists like Lindsay build therapy into the daily lives of families so that it becomes a natural practice to use these techniques in the home.
If you have concerns about your child’s speech development, consult with your pediatrician. They might suggest an evaluation, which can help define what your child needs. It’s always a relief to find the services that can provide your child with therapy that will help them grow while having fun, improving their experience both at home and in school. If you’re interested in our services, talk to your pediatrician, who can help match you to us.