FAQ and Glossary
I get a lot of questions about what I do as well as the terms I use. Here are some questions I get often about my field. Below that are some key terms you will hear often and what they mean.
What is a Speech Language Pathologist?
A Speech Language Pathologist holds a Master’s degree and is licensed in their state to perform diagnostics and treatment for a variety of communication disorders as well as feeding problems. Most also hold a Certificate of Clinical Competence from the American Speech Language and Hearing Association (ASHA), the governing body for Speech Language Pathologists and Audiologists.
Do you take insurance?
Yes, we participate with many major insurance companies. You can check with your insurance company’s provider list to find out if we are in your plan.
How long does therapy take?
Typically we see clients once or twice a week and may continue seeing them for months or years, depending on their needs. The therapy plans are adjusted every 3 months and revised if needed. We write long term goals and short term goals and keep track of clients’ progress with time frames from 1 month to 1 year. Their therapy is completed when they have achieved the long term goals. However, children can be expected to have goals that change as they develop if various skills that are expected to be mastered are identified as below age norms.
What ages do you treat?
Infants through adults who are not yet on Medicare.
What is a Certified Orofacial Myologist?
A Certified Orofacial Myologist (COM) has completed a 28 hour introductory course in Orofacial Myology, completed a 6 month written exam, passed an onsite clinical exam by a member of the Board of Examiners and maintains their certification with continuing education in courses sponsored by the International Association of Orofacial Myology (IAOM). A COM evaluates and treats children and adults with tongue thrusts, better known as improper resting postures of the tongue, as well as lips, and tongue ties which impact the orofacial skeletal development as well as oral phase of swallowing and articulation in most cases. If you or your child have not made progress with other therapy they have received, perhaps the expertise of a Certified Orofacial Myologist will be able to improve their issues, in tandem with other professionals. In many cases, chronic allergies may impact their orofacial muscles as well, or chronic enlargement of the tonsils and/or adenoids. We refer to our allergy and ENT professionals as well as dental professionals, bodywork professionals, and others to provide a teamwork approach.
Why didn't anyone else identify my tongue tie?
It takes additional training to identify how this structural issue may be interfering with function. The functions are breathing, feeding, swallowing, chewing and speech. An in depth structural examination as well as a comprehensive assessment of function are essential to determining the need for a tongue tie release. Therapy prior to and after a tongue tie release is mandatory. The muscles need to be reeducated so as to adjust the brain to performing these functions in a more appropriate way.
Do you see adults?
Yes. We can see adults with voice problems, after a stroke, Parkinson’s disease, and for stuttering and articulation disorders, as well as those with auditory processing deficits. We also see adults for accent modification and voice feminization , which are not disorders at all, but the client feels that their speech or voice hinders their function in the workplace or socially. However, working with accent modification and transgender voice are not services that are covered by insurance.
Do you provide telepractice?
Yes, for certain patients and clients, telepractice is appropriate and effective. It may not be right for everyone. It may only be used occasionally. It is convenient for those who have issues with transportation, distance, weather related issues and even a sick family member who needs a parent to stay home with them. Please ask for more information on telepractice.
At what point should I make an appointment for my child?
If you have concerns that your child is not meeting the milestones that you have been told they should have from your parenting books or just your instinct, it is not too early to see a speech pathologist. Early intervention can make a paramount difference in the development of communication skills. A teacher, pediatrician or other specialist may also make suggestions that your child should be evaluated. If you are concerned but your doctor is not, then follow your gut instinct and insist on a referral if you need one: it is the right time to see a speech language pathologist.
Can you treat me or my child if someone else performed the evaluation?
Yes, as long as the evaluation was completed within a reasonable timeframe. However, it is up to the discretion of the therapist taking on the case to determine if a new evaluation is necessary or if different testing procedures are needed.
Can you see me if I have Medicare and pay out of pocket?
No, we are not allowed to opt-out of Medicare. Because we aren't a Medicare provider, we have to refer you elsewhere.
How long will my child or myself be in treatment?
It depends. Some patients are seen for a few weeks, a few months or a year or more. Orofacial myofunctional therapy patients may need 3 months if a tongue tie needs to be addressed, plus several months to a year to address reeducating the muscles for functions of chewing, swallowing, breathing and speech. The more there is to work on, and the longer the issues have been present, generally the longer it will take to address.
How long are sessions?
They are typically a half hour, although there are some cases when more time is available if appropriate to be seen longer, to be determined by the provider.
APD (auditory processing disorders)
ASD (autism spectrum disorders)
CAS (childhood apraxia of speech)
TOTs (tethered oral tissue)
Also known as tongue-tie, is a congenital oral anomaly that may decrease mobility of the tongue tip and is caused by an unusually short, ,tight or thick lingual frenulum, a membrane connecting the underside of the tongue to the floor of the mouth. (Wikipedia)