Bryan Castañeda told me the following:
I was talking to a good friend of mine who’s a speech pathologist. He works for a woman who runs a private practice in Connecticut. Says that a third of his patients require the amount of treatment his boss recommends, a third require treatment but less than she recommends, and a third require no treatment at all. But his boss is skilled at preying on parents’ insecurities (and their clientele has a lot of money), so she makes a killing. He agreed with your advice that people should be more skeptical of the claims of medical professionals and do their own research to evaluate to those claims.
The woman who runs the practice has a Master’s in speech pathology, same as Bryan’s friend. I asked about the treatments. Bryan’s friend replied:
It depends on the diagnosis. If it’s a speech disorder, we do articulation therapy. Articulation therapy usually consists of drills, correcting erred sounds by shaping the articulators appropriately and then having the client produce the sound in isolation, at the word, phrase, and sentence levels, and then in reading aloud and in conversation until they’ve reached 100% or close to 100% accuracy.
If it’s a language disorder, we do language therapy. Language therapy is a little more complicated. We target specific language areas based on the results of previous testing. It can vary a lot, but some of the more common things I do is read passages and have the client answer questions about it, teach grammar, work on formulating sentences appropriately, teach vocabulary, and word classification activities. A lot of worksheets and games too — materials that my boss writes off at tax time. We bill by the hour, so more hours certainly equals more pay for her,” he says. “We are all salaried, so the tighter she crams our schedules the more she gets to keep at the end of the day.
At least the unhelpful treatments are harmless, in contrast to a large fraction of mainstream medicine, where children have their tonsils removed, and so on.