We recognize that speech-language therapy is expensive. Finding a clinician that may provide a fun learning experience and deliver efficacious therapy is essential. Outstanding clinicians are in demand!
There are grants and low cost options for families that need speech and language services:
United Healthcare Children’s Foundation (UHCF) is a non-profit organization that helps parents who run into gaps in their health insurance coverage. To qualify, parents need to prove that the child has health insurance, and that the therapy is not covered by the health plan. Parents need to demonstrate financial hardship, that the speech-language pathology has been diagnosed, and that therapy will be beneficial.
If approved, funds up to $5,000 per year, or $7,500 lifetime, can be permitted for the child. Payments will go directly to a licensed speech therapist. The UHCF’s website provides a pre-screening for potential applicants.
One major plus, if such a grant is approved, is that a $5,000 allotment would provide the therapist plenty of one-on-one time with a child, perhaps offering a lower-stress, more confident path to improvement. We won’t need to limit ourselves to half-hour weekly sessions that may be partially lost by the time the next session comes around.
For more information please visit: http://www.uhccf.org/index.html
The Federal Rehabilitation Act of 1973 guarantees education and services for children with developmental challenges and disabilities. If a school does not maintain a speech-language pathologist on staff, it must procure one for students in need of such services.
For more information about The Federal Rehabilitation Act of 1973 please visit: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rehabilitation_Act_of_1973
The biggest advantage of therapy at school is the zero cost, and another major advantage is that the application process is much less rigorous than with third-party grants. However, this therapy may occur relatively late in a child’s development — for example, the /p, h, m, w, and b/ sounds most typically occur at ages 12-36 months. In addition, other children may not always be kind about a child’s need to attend speech class. Parents may run into issues with waiting lists and strict qualifying criteria that are “just missed” by a child.
Still, for those families not able to afford private, pre-school therapy, and whose children have speech problems severe enough to meet the criteria, public school therapy casts a welcome safety net.
Scottish Rite Clinics, which are sponsored by the Masonic fraternity, are dedicated to helping children with speech disorders. If a family’s orientation and philosophy is compatible, this is a zero-cost alternative. Waiting lists vary from city to city.
For more information about Scottish Rite Clinics in Oregon please visit: http://www.kidtalkoregon.org/
The United Way often can provide partial or total assistance to lower-income families with medical problems, including speech therapy. A local United Way chapter will consider a family’s application based on need.
Universities may provide low- or zero-cost treatment given by graduate students in search of degrees. Speech-language therapy problems can be compounded if an inexperienced therapist applies an ineffective method, so a therapist’s ability comes under consideration. However, for common and moderate problems, the skills offered by a graduate student may be a good match for a child.
For more information about speech and language services available at Portland State University please visit: http://www.pdx.edu/sphr/speech-language-clinic