If your child can receive speech therapy at school, why do they need private speech therapy? The answer is it depends on your child and their needs. I have worked in the schools for several years and own a private practive. I understand both sides very well.
In most cases, school speech language pathologists and private speech language pathologists have the same education and certification. Speech language pathologists are required to have a master’s degree, be certified by the American Speech Language Hearing Association(ASHA), and have a state license. However in the schools, this is not always true. Because there is a shortage of speech language pathologists, schools will sometimes fill positions with someone who has a bachelor’s degree. This person is not a speech langauge pathologist and is not certified by the ASHA. They also do not have a Florida license.
Besides the qualifications of the provider, what is the difference between school and private speech?
School Speech Therapy
- Students are often seen in groups. Sometimes as small as two, but often they are much larger.
- Students are often pulled out of academic classes to go to speech. In many schools, SLPs are not allowed to pull children from recess or resource(art, music, PE) classes.
- School speech therapy is free! There is no cost to parents for speech therapy at school.
- School speech therapy is available starting at 3 years old if your child qualifies.
- Qualification is based on educational impact. If a student is doing well academically and socially, they may not qualify for school speech therapy.
- School therapy may or may not be provided by an SLP.
Private Speech Therapy
- Children are seen individually.
- Private speech therapy may be in a clinic or in your home or daycare. Ideal Speech comes to your home or daycare making speech therapy convenient.
- There is a cost for private speech therapy. Some insurances cover speech therapy, but that coverage is typically limited outside of certain conditions.
- Private speech can start as early as needed. The earlier intervention starts the more progress you will see!
- Qualification is based on the SLP’s clinical judgement and parent input. There is no need to show an educational impact.
- Private speech therapy is provided by a licensed, ASHA certified SLP.
There are advantages and disadvantages to both settings. It’s up to you to decide what is best for you child. You also have the choice to do both private and school speech therapy.
Please contact us if you have questions or would like to schedule an appointment.