Hi, I hope you’ve already had a chance to watch my video, How to Tell If My Child Has a Speech-Language Disorder. In this video, I’ll tell you how to get help for your child. There are multiple avenues to receive speech-language therapy, some that are free to you.
- PUBLIC SCHOOL DISTRICT: First, check with your community’s public school district.
- Preschool-Age Children — If your child is a toddler or preschooler, you will want to search the school district’s website for a department called ‘Early Intervention Resources’ or something similar. That is where you can take your young child to be tested for speech-language disorders, as well as any other conditions that might affect your child’s learning.
- School-Age Children — If your child is attending public school already, check with your child’s teacher and express your concerns. Chances are the teacher may have noticed some issues as well. The teacher can contact the school’s speech-language pathologist (SLP) to set up a screening.
Keep in mind that the child must have a communication disability that affects his/her education in order to qualify for free services through the school district. Typically, a child must receive in-class intervention measures by the teacher or SLP for a few weeks or months before any formal testing can be done. However, if your child qualifies, he will eventually receive an IEP and speech-language services through the school SLP.
- CHARITABLE ORGANIZATIONS: Some states or communities have charitable organizations that will pay for speech-language therapy for qualifying children. It is worth your time to do an internet search, ask your local pediatrician or children’s hospital, or the local school district to see if they have resources to recommend. Sometimes children can receive therapy from a charitable organization as well as school-provided therapy, which is double the help for your child.
- PRIVATE THERAPY – If you are able to pay for private therapy, your child may receive more individual attention than what he receives through the school district. Individual sessions allow the SLP to focus solely on your child’s goals and needs, and can often speed up the improvement process. Also, sometimes a child may not qualify for services through the school district if the evaluation team determines that the speech errors are still age-appropriate or that the speech disorder does not affect his education. Even if your child is young and only has one error, you may still wish to treat it. Private therapy is a good way to accomplish this.
- PARENT PRACTICE – Even if your child is receiving therapy at school or elsewhere, parent involvement is crucial! Research shows that parent involvement can benefit a child’s speech and language progress. If you haven’t already, watch my video, Benefits of Parents Practicing Speech and Language With Their Children. Also, I have a list of research articles on parent involvement on my website, clarityspeechandlanguage.com. You can make a difference!
- Online Courses for Parents — To help parents teach their children speech skills and practice them more effectively at home, I’ve created courses with instructions and practice materials. The courses will walk you through the entire process, step by step and sound by sound, making it easy and painless. Please check out these courses at clarityspeechandlanguage.com.
Thanks for watching and good luck!