Frequently Asked Questions
1) How does a Speech Therapist treat Executive Functions and ADHD? I thought Speech Therapists’ only treat articulation and stuttering.
→ The full and correct term is Speech-Language Pathologist.
Speech & Language are two very different things.
Speech refers to an individual’s intelligibility. This is the most common understanding of what a Speech-Language Pathologist does. When it comes to Speech, SLP’s treat articulation, stuttering, voice quality, volume, rate of speech, apraxia of speech, dysarthria, etc. All issues that have to deal with how easily an individuals’ speech is understood to the listener.
Language, on the other hand, is a very broad term.
Language refers to:
Expressive Language – the words per utterance, vocabulary, morphology, and phonology
Receptive Language – how you receive language to answer questions and follow directions.
Social-Pragmatic Language – language used for appropriate social interactions
Literacy Language – reading comprehension and written expression
–> and ADHD & Executive Functions are Internal Language – Visual Imagery & Self-Talk
**To learn more about one of my greatest influences, please learn more about fellow Speech-Language Pathologists & Executive Function Specialists: Sarah Ward and Kristine Jacobsen of Cognitive Connections & 360Thinking. Their website is EFPractice.com. I have taken several of their trainings, and they are second to none.
2) There is no way my child is going to agree to work with a therapist! He thinks theres nothing wrong with him! He is totally against it!
→ This is a very common concern from parents when they first reach out.
The most important things to remember is that ADHD/Executive Dysfunction is a disorder of Self-Evaluation and Metacognition.
This means that is very hard for individuals with ADHD to know what is truly best for them, especially when it has to do with delayed gratification. Individuals with ADHD and EF Delays need an adult to act as their Executive Functioning to get them started on new tasks, especially tasks that are new, challenging, get them out of their comfort zone (most likely screens), and doing things that will actually improve their executive functioning for future success.
It is OKAY if your child does not want to do the therapy and complains about it – you are the parent, you are the adult, and you know what is best for them and their future.
This is also a disorder of Self-Motivation and Non-Preferred Task Initiation. Teens get upset when therapy takes them away from their comfort zone of screens and video games. Building Executive Functions requires them to have varied experiences away from screens and out of their comfort zone to develop skills that will actually be useful in their future lives.
3) My son has ben through so many failed therapies in the past.
→ At GrowNOW – we provide our students with a brand new, energetic, engaging experience that will totally reframe the word “therapy” for them. We use the most up to date evidence-based practices and focus on interpersonal relationships.
Executive Functions are NOT developed by sitting at a table doing worksheets. EF Therapy must be relationship based, fun, and motivating. Our students get up and move, go into the community and the natural environment, and act out what they want their successful futures to look like!
Also, we never take a “one size fits all approach.” We tailor everything toward the unique individual. Every student receives their own unique goals and treatment plan. Sessions are tailored to their specific strengths and needs.
4) How long will this therapy take? How long until I see results?
→ This is a very difficult question to answer, and many parents tend to ask this question before I ever meet their child. Also, it is an inappropriate question because no therapist, regardless of their training and background can ethically guarantee results. The most important thing here is that every child is different. Some students can acquire skills rather quickly and some take time.
The goal of any therapy is to no longer need therapy. This is because you have acquired the skills that were once lacking. This is always our goal – for our students to attain independence and no longer need our help, in as short of an amount of time as possible.
All therapy is based on the child’s progress and the client & family’s constant satisfaction.
5) Are parents involved in the therapy?
→ There is no such thing are Executive Function Therapy or Speech-Language Therapy without parent coaching and parent involvement – and we take that very seriously. Parent involvement is crucial to ensure that strategies learned within the sessions carryover to the natural environment. A strong and positive relationship between family/caregivers and the therapist is paramount.