When starting a new client, these are some typical questions I ask parents on the first home health visit ….
- What toys/show is your child into? ( I like to know this for selecting materials. I want to bring items that are engaging and be someone the child looks forward to seeing!)
- How does your child communicate his/her needs? (pulls you to item? uses 1-2 words?)
- What is your child’s primary language?
- What would you like your child to work on that will improve your home environment? (Some parents really just want their kids to recall details of their day. I always want to consider the individual needs of each home. )
- Does your child display any behaviors?
- Does your child have any allergies?
- Does your child have a communication device? (If so, What kind? How often do they use it?)
- Does your child have any difficulty completing large or small motor tasks?
- Does your child receive speech services at school? (If so, I usually ask for a copy of the goals)
- Does your child play with toys appropriately? (i.e. pushing a car/train back and forth)
- Does your child respond to his/her name?
- What does your child typically do when upset?
- How is your child’s attention to task? (i.e. Can they sit for an activity? For how long? )
- What motivates your child? (praise, tangibles, escape, etc.)
- Is there anything else that may be helpful for me to know? (This is where you may find out things that do not directly relate to speech, however affect overall behavior/mood/performance/etc.)
Typically, I will call parents before our first speech session and introduce myself. During the phone call, I confirm our first appointment and let parents know that during the first session I will have some questions for them. I also let them know that the first few sessions are very low key. My main focus of these first few sessions are to build rapport with their child, and gain their trust.
I hope you find this list of questions helpful! I have found that gathering information from the parents right away can save some time, and help you understand how to meet individual language needs.