1. Private Speech Language Pathologists

a. Some may have an actual office where they see their patients
b. Some may have an in home office
c. Some treat patients in the patients home
d. Many school SLPs treat patients privately during summer vacation to augment their income. Some may even see children after school hours.

Please remember to ask about payment options since SLPs can vary greatly. Some may or not bill insurance.

Visit the American Speech Hearing and Language Association to search for speech pathologists in your area.

2. Early Childhood Intervention

A national program which treats patients 0-3 years. They are funded and have a sliding scale to determine if and what you are required to pay for services. Most accept Medicaid and private insurance.

Services offered: Nutritionists, Speech therapy, Occupational therapy, counseling, and any other area the team determines will help the child and the family succeed. This program serves children in their homes and empowers parents and caregivers by teaching them to use the child’s strengths to improve their weaknesses.

Call 1-800-628-5115 to find a program in your area.

3. School Districts i.e. Child Find.

School districts evaluate and treat children ages 0-21 who have communication delays/disorders which will impact or are impacting their learning. This program is free since it is considered part of your child’s academics. The children must show a significant delay or disorder which is significantly impacting their academics. It is open to children who attend private schools.

Speech therapy is a service provided under Special Education. Special Education is a federally funded program which is open to the public. This allows all children ages 0-21 who reside in the school district to receive services regardless of where they attend school (private, homeschool, etc).

All children must qualify for services as outlined in the school districts speech language pathology handbooks.

4. Hospitals: Out patient and in patient programs.

All hospitals have speech language pathologists who treat in patients. Most have outpatient programs where your child may receive speech and language services.

5. University

Universities who offer a degree in Communication Disorders or Speech Pathology usually have a university clinic and/or programs which offer speech language pathology services. Services maybe provided by student clinicians who are graduate students in their programs. All student clinicians are supervised by a certified/licensed SLP.

Go to the ASHA website to find university programs.

6. Student Clinicians in Speech Pathology (Communication Disorders) Graduate Programs

Many families will go to the university looking for student clinicians to work informally with their special needs child. Children who have a certified/licensed speech pathologist and who have been diagnosed and being treated by this speech language pathologist may benefit from extra help given by a Student Clinician.

Please keep in mind student clinicians should not and cannot take the place of a certified and licensed speech language pathologist. I am not recommending your child to be treated by a student clinician.

Student Clinicians can serve as facilitators and love the opportunity to practice their emerging skills. For example, a graduate student can babysit your child and while he/she babysits provide opportunities to practice communication and language. The student clinician will provide the same opportunities a parent/caregiver can provide. The Student Clinician will be able to follow the strategies and home exercise programs provided by the child’s speech pathologist. Student Clinicians can be good mother’s helpers or just come to help implement the home exercise programs in your home.

7. Home Health Agencies

Home health agencies provide speech services to children in their homes after school or during the day for those children who are not in school.

Home health agencies typically accept all insurance, private pay, and Medicaid programs.

They usually have related services as well such as Physical therapy, Occupational therapy, etc.

Good Luck finding your SLP. Communication is complex and personal. Look for someone you feel comfortable with and make sure that person is willing to give you all your options. All SLPs are different. Treat this search as if you are searching for a doctor.

If your family is bilingual, be sure to ask for a bilingual speech language pathologist preferably one who speaks the language spoken in your home.

Interpreters are not recommended. However, due to a shortage of speech pathologists in general and a greater shortage of bilingual speech pathologists some agencies are forced to use interpreters as a last resort option.