Importance of Family Centered Speech Therapy

Some things are common sense. Speech therapy that focuses on the family is just one of them!

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In the past, therapists used traditional approaches to speech therapy. This meant that the therapist decided the goals and how to work on them. Parents, caregivers, and the client had little to no say in the therapy process. In recent years, doctors, speech therapists, and educators have begun to realize how important the family really is. Afterall, the family knows the client better than anyone else.

In Canada and around the world, Family Centered Service (FCS) is starting to gain popularity. The question is, what does family centered care involve?

  • Family Centered Care is an approach that focuses on providing support to children with special needs and their families
  • FCS accounts for the fact that each family is unique and has its own goals and needs
  • The family is the focus of the therapy and is intimately involved in all decisions made during the therapy process.
  • Support, education, and resources are provided to the family so they can also become “experts” and help the client on a daily basis

What are the benefits of a Family Centered Approach to Speech Therapy?

  1. therapy is more effective – better outcomes for child & higher family satisfaction
  2. family has increased knowledge about child’s development
  3. family feels more confident with child’s communication abilities
  4. client has a better support system on a long-term basis

As therapists, it is our goal to provide therapy that is effective and beneficial for our clients. A family centered approach to therapy allows us to empower not only the client, but the family as well.


Thoughts? Ideas? Comment Below!


Corks, I. (2004, June 14). The Case for Family Centered Approach: A Best Practice Approach for special needs children. Retrieved November 18, 2012.

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