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WHERE CAN I GET SPEECH-LANGUAGE SERVICES FOR MY CHILD?

Updated: Jul 28, 2021


Parents have several options when searching for speech-language services for their child. Access to services can vary widely depending upon where you live, who will pay for the service, and the age of your child. Links at the end of this post can help you get started on your search.


Public Services

Some countries provide therapy services to children through public agencies or schools. These programs may be for infants, preschool and/or school-age children.

Advantages:

  • low- or no-cost

  • usually available within driving distance or may be provided in your home

Disadvantages:

  • often have waiting lists for evaluation or therapy

  • may have limited time or number of sessions


University Clinics

Speech-language pathologists in training need to complete hundreds of hours of supervised clinical work. To meet some of this need, each university program has a clinic where clinical instructors and professors direct therapy carried out by students working toward their degree. Parents usually are able to observe therapy and many programs involve parents in therapy to some degree. Some programs specialize in NDBI.

Advantages:

  • low cost

  • close attention to research and best practices

Disadvantages:

  • available only at certain universities

  • may limit the number of children seen and/or have waiting lists


Health Care Providers

Hospitals and clinics usually have therapy services, either on site or at an affiliated location. When your doctor makes a referral, this is the most likely place they refer to. Children are seen in the clinic setting, sometimes with parent involvement or observation.

Advantages:

  • may be near your home

  • some clinics specialize in pediatric (child) disorders

Disadvantages:

  • higher cost

  • affiliated clinics may not be near small towns or rural areas

  • may have long waits for evaluation or therapy


Private Practice

Many speech-language pathologists have their own practice, sometimes associated with occupational or physical therapists. Children are usually seen in the clinic, but some therapists do home-based therapy, especially for children under 3. Some therapists only take payments directly from the parent, who can then submit the bill to their insurance for reimbursement.

Advantages:

  • usually have experience and specialized training with child language

Disadvantages:

  • cost similar to health care providers

  • usually available only in population centers


Telepractice

Telepractice provides online speech-language therapy services, so eliminates the problems of distance and finding an SLP that’s is a good fit for your child. Therapists use a secure, confidential teleconferencing system to provide face-to-face consultation, evaluation and therapy. The number of SLPs who offer telepractice increases every year. Payment for services is arranged directly between the therapist and family.

Advantages:

  • available in all locations

  • many languages spoken

  • match therapist specialty to child need

Disadvantages:

  • requires access to reliable broadband internet service


Speech Therapy for Your Child

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Joyce is very knowledgeable. Not only as a speech therapist but also on how the school system works. Which is very helpful going through the IEP process. She was able to engage with my daughter and was never hesitant to help in any way. I would definitely recommend Joyce to anyone that is looking for a trustworthy, caring and informed speech therapist.

- AUTUMN MARSHALL, PARENT