My Child Needs SPeech THerapy...WHat are my options?
If your child has been referred for speech, language or feeding therapy, or you are reaching out to have your child evaluated due to your own concerns, you may find the number of options and service delivery methods can be overwhelming. Speech therapy varies by setting as well as cost. Below is a quick guide to the services that are available to you, and how they may vary across settings.
1) Early Childhood Intervention (ECI)
ECI is a state funded program in Texas for children from birth through 3 years old. This program focuses on early intervention. Anyone can request an evaluation and services are free of cost. If your child qualifies, services are provided in your home. The benefits to this program are clear. Free therapy, at home! Early intervention is so important, and this program is an invaluable resource. Children who exhibit mild impairments may not qualify for services. Also, resources are limited, and frequency of visits, as well as the type of specialist you see may, vary (i.e. you may see a developmental educator, rather than a speech therapist).Frequently, families choose to seek out additional services in order to increase the amount of therapy that their child receives.
2) Public Schools
Once your child is 3 years old, they age out of Early Childhood Intervention and into the public-school system. Once they reach school age, school and state standards will determine eligibility for services. Again, these services are invaluable to the community.However, resources are limited. Children with mild impairments often do not qualify, and parents of those who do qualify often seek out services beyond what the public-school system can offer.
3) Hospital Based
One of the options for speech therapy services outside of the state funded programs, are hospital-based clinics. In a hospital-based clinic, therapy is typically paid for with your health insurance.If you have commercial insurance, you may find that your child’s therapy is not a covered service. Most insurance plans will cover speech therapy when it is due to an illness or injury. However, if it is considered “developmental” in nature, without an associated medical diagnosis, it may not be covered. Make sure to check with your insurance company to find out the terms of your speech therapy coverage. Out-of-pocket expenses at a hospital or large clinic tend to be quite high compared to private practice.
4) Private Practice
Private practice speech therapy may take place in a variety of settings including, in-home, at your child’s school or daycare, in-office, or tele-practice. The services offered will vary by which practice you choose. Some may offer speech therapy only; or they may be multidisciplinary, including other services such as occupational therapy, physical therapy, behavioral therapy or counseling.Many practices accept insurance, though there are many that are only private pay. Being that many commercial insurance companies do not pay for speech therapy, a private pay practice may end up being more cost-effective than receiving services through a hospital or larger clinic.
Is BLue Skies Speech Therapy the right choice for my child and my family?
At Blue Skies Speech Therapy, you and your child will receive the personal attention that only a small private practice can offer. I understand that finding the resources to cover your child's speech therapy services can be difficult. While Blue Skies Speech Therapy is not currently in network with insurance companies, I will make every effort to help you submit claims to your insurance for out of network reimbursement.
By purposely keeping a manageable caseload, I am able to offer increased access and flexibility for you and your family. Phone calls and emails are always answered promptly, as parent communication and involvement are the foundation of my speech therapy model. I recognize that the journey towards better communication must be a partnership between the child, the parents and the therapist. Therefore, my approach ensures that parents are never left wondering, “what did my child do in speech today?” and parents are always encouraged to participate and get in touch with me whenever they need.
I offer speech therapy at your child’s private school, daycare, or home. Please contact me for a free phone consultation to see if Blue Skies Speech Therapy is a good fit for you. 210-259-7366.
Danielle Edwards, M.S., CCC-SLP
Blue Skies Speech Therapy LLC