Speech Therapy — The Bump
Special Needs

Speech Therapy

My son was late to talk and finally began saying more words right around his second birthday. At 2.5 years old we had Parents As Teachers come out to evaluate our kids to make sure they were right on tract. He exceeded all the motor skills for his age but his pronunciation is very poor. We spoke to our pediatrician at the time and she recommend waiting until he was three to consider speech therapy because I was told some kids language drastically improves by age three.  We just had his three year visit and she recommend speech eval and audiology exam in case it may be a hearing issue. We set up both appointments with the local children's hospital and the first available was August. My question is, in everyone who has been down this road opinions, is it cheaper and more effective to go the route of private speech therapy vs through a hospital? I know it can vary by place but I just wanted a general opinion. I want my LO to be less frustrated soon. :) TIA

Re: Speech Therapy

  • There could be a lot of smaller centers around you that could get him more immediate help and offer speech therapy and still accept insurance. My son was evaluated by a children's hospital and they recommended OT, but he's receiving the actual therapy at a much smaller local children's rehab center. The rehab center also offers evaluations… I had happened to already have that part completed. You might also want to check into your local public school system, they might offer a special ed preschool that would provide him speech therapy in the classroom after their evaluation process. It's too bad that your pediatrician didn't urge you to have him evaluated before now - most states have an early intervention program that offers in-home therapy to children with developmental delays until the age of three… my oldest received speech, physical, and occupational therapy in our home and once she aged out she was evaluated for the preschool program (by that time she was pretty much caught up tho so I don't have experience w the school's special services). Good luck!!
  • I would check with your school district before paying for an evaluation or services. Often, insurance companies will deny claims or refuse to provide an authorization for treatment if a parent has not pursued an IEP with their local school district first. All school districts are required to provide an evaluation within a specified time limit once a parent requests it. Depending on the school district and your knowledge of your rights as a parent under IDEA laws, it may be in your best interest to put your request for an evaluation in writing. School districts are not allowed to tell you that they don't have room or they have a waiting list, which I have seen far too many times. Federal law requires that districts provide free and appropriate services to children with delays, whether they place them in a classroom or provide walk-in therapy services.
    lhgd1989
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  • It's so disappointing that they'd tell you to wait. Speech services through ECI are free or significantly less expensive, and our case worker has been incredible with getting us set up with the school district.

    I would definitely look into the school district first.
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  • When my son was evaluated the hospital did it and insurance fully covered that visit but they didn't cover any visits for speech after that. It was $170 per visit and he was going twice a week. Eventually we switched to private and paid out of pocket at $50 per visit. We went private once a week and the Early Childhood program in our county came out once a week to work with him, as well. He will be 3 and we are having his Evaluation meeting in a few weeks to see if he has qualified for a preschool IEP. 
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