What to Expect: Speech Therapy for Adults

Are you an adult looking for speech therapy services for the first time? Perhaps you care for someone who is looking for speech therapy for adults to get support after a diagnosis. Here at Speak & Swallow Speech Therapy, we are proud to say we’ve been supporting adolescents and adults with communication and swallowing difficulties in Brisbane for over 10 years now.

Over the years we’ve delivered speech therapy for adults in the form of speech therapy home visits, speech therapy clinic sessions, and have even completed speech therapy out in the community and in retirement villages. With all of this experience comes a lot of insight into what you can expect when you first begin speech therapy for adults.

Keep on reading to find out more about what you can expect from your initial appointment and what it may look like when you begin ongoing speech therapy. 

What to Expect in Your First Speech Therapy Appointment 

Speech therapy for adults can look a little different when it comes to the first appointment. Depending on your preferences, you may visit a clinic setting or have a Speech Pathologist visit you at your home for the initial assessment. You may see the Speech Pathologist alone, or you may have someone with you like a spouse or carer who you would like to be a part of the initial appointment while the Speech Pathologist gathers some background information on what has brought you to seek speech pathology services.

In most cases, an initial speech therapy appointment will go for up to 2 hours, and will include an initial assessment based on the concerns you have raised in your direct enquiry or the referral made by a medical professional. If you are based in Australia, you may need to join a waitlist to wait for a Speech Pathologist to become available to see you. The waiting times can vary, so it is best to ask about the waiting times when you first enquire about services.

If you are seeking communication therapy for adults, the Speech Pathologist will assess your communication abilities using an evidence-based assessment tool. If you are looking for swallowing therapy for adults due to Dysphagia (swallowing difficulties), you will have an initial swallowing assessment completed using preferred foods and drinks either at your home or that you have brought to the clinic.

During your first speech therapy appointment, you will also be asked questions about your medical and background history and anything that may inform the Speech Pathologist on your condition as well as your goals for the future. They may ask about your preferences, immediate needs, and any difficulties you have been facing that you would like to address with speech therapy. 

During your initial appointment you will be able to ask the Speech Pathologist questions about the difficulties you are facing. After completing their assessment and preparing a detailed report of your results, the Speech Pathologist will be able to provide you with further information on your condition and create goals with you which you can progress towards through ongoing therapy. If you only require a swallowing assessment or a mealtime management plan update, you may only need to have speech pathology sessions to assess your swallowing every few months. If you have difficulty communicating and require speaking therapy for adults, you will likely see the Speech Pathologist every one or two weeks to work towards your goals.

What to Expect in Speech Therapy Clinic Sessions

You shouldn’t be nervous about attending Speech Therapy clinic sessions for the first time – Our Speech Pathologists are welcoming, empathetic, and ready to help you with the communication or swallowing difficulties you are facing. If you live locally or have access to transportation, you can visit a clinic space for your initial and ongoing speech therapy sessions. 

There, you’ll get to meet the whole Speech Pathology team, and practice the skills you are using in your speech therapy with the admin team! A clinic-based session can also provide the opportunity to visit local stores and cafes with your Speech Pathologist for further practice of speech therapy strategies. This can provide a change of scenery that you might find helpful. Your treating Speech Pathologist may also have access to certain resources that they can provide you with straight away, like printed materials or therapy tools, rather than needing to wait until your next session to receive them. 

What to Expect in Speech Therapy Home Visits 

A popular option when it comes to speech therapy for adults is speech therapy home visits. Having a Speech Pathologist visit you at your home is convenient and useful for those who don’t have access to transport or have difficulties with mobilising. While not all Speech Pathology clinics offer home visits as part of their service, there are some out there like Speak & Swallow Speech Therapy that can. 

  • Representative of your normal environment 
  • Use your ordinary foods, tools, and space
  • The option to involve your communication partners visiting or living in your home (e.g. support workers, family)
  • Opportunities to practice skills within your home environment (e.g. making a cup of tea, calling the dog)

We hope you’ve found this article helpful as you prepare for your first speech therapy session. If you have any questions about how to prepare for your upcoming speech therapy session, it’s always best to reach out to the admin team at your treating Speech Pathologist’s clinic. If you haven’t got an appointment yet and are looking to access speech therapy for adults in your local area, the best place to look is the Speech Pathology Australia ‘Find a Speech Pathologist’ online tool.