Should my child participate in individual or group speech therapy?
In addition to helping kids navigate articulation and expressive language, speech therapy — especially group speech therapy — can help promote social connection and inclusion.
“Group therapy can be great, especially for our kiddos who are having difficulty with pragmatic language,” SLP Amy Wilhelm says. (Pragmatic language is the social use of language.) She continues, “Group therapy allows us to work on social skills like turn-taking, maintaining conversations, and asking questions. We don’t necessarily have the opportunity for that during one-on-one sessions with just the child and the therapist.”
SLP Sara Palmer agrees. “Group sessions are an amazing tool!” she says. “As an adult, and no matter how hard I try, I am very boring to most of my students. With peers around, students are motivated to engage and practice speaking, especially when having a debate about the most powerful Pokémon or which Pete the Cat song to listen to next. Kids motivate kids in a way that I cannot replicate. And kids help each other figure things out in a more relaxed way. This is particularly important for my students who are working on social skills. Speech sessions become a non-judgmental space where students can learn how to better socialize and practice skills.”
For more information, see our article Speech Therapy: What It Is and How It Works.