All certified speech-language pathologists must have a Master’s degree in Speech-Language Pathology, be licensed, and meet the requirements of the American Speech-Language & Hearing Association (ASHA. So, whether your child receives care at school, a private setting or both, he or she will receive professional care. Thus, many parents ask, “Why should we consider private, medically based speech-language pathology (SLP) instead of free services offered at school? The answer really depends on your child’s individual speech-language needs and parent preferences. Here’s a quick look at the major differences.
|CRITERIA||SCHOOL THERAPY SETTING||PRIVATE THERAPY SETTING|
|SLP Qualification||Must have a disability that affects academic and social well-being and demonstrates need for services based on state test scores, teacher observation, and parent/student consultations||No qualification although student should show need for therapy; focus on developing strong communications skills in all areas of life|
|Documentation||Initial evaluation with progress reports at each grading period; reevaluation every three years||Initial evaluation with progress reports provided at least every three months with reevaluation every 6-12 months|
|Parent Meetings||Usually reviews are conducted every 12 months, and parents can discuss progress during scheduled conferences||Reviews usually held at end of each session with notes to summarize progress and focus of next visit|
|Personalization||Sessions vary based on availability of therapist, student needs, and school schedule; some individual sessions as well as group sessions||Sessions usually conducted one-on-one with social group interaction if warranted|
|Sessions||Usually 1-3 times per week, 15-30 minutes per session; students usually pulled out of class||Based on child’s needs, but typically 1-3 times per week, 30-60 minutes per session; therapy usually conducted in office, at child’s home, or other setting that benefits the child|
|Availability||Only during school year; not available during school holidays or summer||Available as needed|
|Cost||Free in public schools||Fee-for-service; sessions may be fully or partially covered by insurance|
Some parents find that school therapy is sufficient. However, many notice faster results when a child works with a private speech-language pathologist or a combination of both school and private therapy. To decide which is right for your family, consider the following questions.
- Is your child ineligible for speech-language pathology at school?
- Has your child’s progress been insufficient with school-based therapy?
- Do your child’s needs surpass the limitations of the school’s SLP program?
- Is your child distracted by a school setting and would benefit from therapy in another setting?
- Does your child respond better to individualized treatment?
- Is your child embarrassed to leave class or cannot afford to miss classroom instruction?
- Would you prefer speech therapy be private rather than part of your child’s school record?
- Would you like more SLP communication, progress reports and updates?
- Would you like therapy to continue year-round without interruption?
- Would you prefer to select your child’s therapist based on qualifications or specialty?
If you answered yes to any of the questions above, your child may benefit from working with a therapist at LKN Speech-Language Pathology. We welcome students of all ages, including students who are already receiving speech therapy at school but need a boost. To schedule an evaluation, call 704-614-0338 or email us.