How do I Know if my Child Needs Speech Therapy?
If your child’s disability is present at an early age, your health care team may recommend speech therapy as part of your child’s early intervention plan. There are also language developmental milestones that you can monitor to make sure your child is on track and talk to your doctor if you suspect any problems.
Will my insurance cover speech therapy?
If your insurance plan covers speech therapy, we will be happy to submit billing to them; however, up to 50% of insurance plans do not cover speech therapy. It is critical that you check with your insurance company to determine what your plan’s benefits are for speech therapy. Our office support staff will be happy to help you verify benefits prior to your first session.
At what age should I seek help for my child?
Our Speech-Language Pathologists work with children from infancy to adolescence. If you are concerned about your child’s communication skills, please call to find out if your child should be seen for a communication evaluation and/or consultation. The early months of your baby’s life are of great importance for good social skills, emotional growth, and intelligence.
What does a speech language pathologist do?
A speech language pathologist is a licensed and certified professional that corrects communication disorders. This can range from hearing disorders, articulation deficits, auditory/language processing difficulties, vocal disturbances, neurological dysfunction, fluency issues such as stuttering, feeding and swallowing concerns, as well as oral motor issues. There are also times people will seek speech therapy to help with speech improvement issues such as rate, volume, and accent reduction.
What can I expect at an evaluation or therapy session?
The first step is to schedule your child for a speech-language evaluation. The speech-language pathologist (SLP) will conduct a thorough speech evaluation with your child. Depending on the child’s age and needs, you may be asked to be present during the session. Evaluations usually take one hour, and may be spread out over two sessions. Depending on your child’s needs, therapy sessions may be conducted in a more quiet room-such as home office, study, sitting room, or the child’s bedroom-to minimize interruptions. In other cases, the sessions may be held in a more open environment, such as your family room or the dining room. If the latter is the case, such a setting need not be totally distraction free.
The therapist will use the environment to incorporate everyday experiences into the therapy session. For example, instead of a ringing telephone turning into a distraction, it could be used as a learning exercise to help very young children learn vocabulary, pronunciation, word association, and articulation. Questions might include: “What is making that ringing sound?” “What does a person do with a telephone?” “What do you say when you pick up the telephone?” The speech-language pathologist will provide you with details regarding therapy sessions if therapy is recommended after your child’s evaluation.
I think my child needs speech therapy, but according to the school, he/she doesn’t qualify for services. Does this mean my child won’t meet the requirements to receive therapy with you?
Most public school systems have certain guidelines they must follow, which are mandated by state and/or local governments. These standards dictate which students receive speech therapy (as well as a variety of other therapy services) based on specific test scores. We offer a comprehensive, wide array of tests when diagnosing your child. In addition, we consult with you (and teachers and caregivers as necessary) to understand your child’s unique needs and cultural context, as well to understand the goals you and the teachers have for your child. Such in-depth analysis helps us to create a complete assessment of how speech therapy may help your child.