Move Your Family, Keep Your Speech Services

Move Your Family, Keep Your Speech Services

Parents' Corner

I’ve gotten the following question from clients, friends and friends of friends numerous times over the course of my career:

“we are moving but can we still keep our speech services?”

The answer is actually not so simple. In a given year, almost 20% of Americans families will move, either locally, across state lines or internationally, according to the 2010 US Census. A good number of these families have children and, as I’ve said in previous blog posts, as many as 10% of the total pediatric population presents with a communication challenge. So, this is no trivial issue – it is a source of uncertainty and anxiety for potentially millions of families every year. I will focus on general steps for seamlessly retaining your speech services (i.e. with a minimal hiatus) for: 1) early intervention; 2) pre-school services; 3) school-age services. I will discuss both public and private options as well as considerations for easy, intra-city moves, inter-state moves as well as international moves. With this general information, I hope you, the parent of a child tackling his or her speech challenge, will be more empowered to get started finding a speech therapist as soon as possible whatever the location of your “greener pastures” may be.

Photo courtesy Orange County Archives

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Public or Private Speech Therapy?

Speech Therapist
Children Boarding a School Bus

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After your child was diagnosed with a speech disorder, you may have felt lost for a little while, but eventually you formulated a plan of attack. You probably read everything you could find on his specific speech disorder and talked to a few experts. Then, you had to make a choice between public or private speech therapy.

Public speech therapy refers to speech therapy that is administered by a speech-language pathologist (SLP) working in the school. Private speech therapy means that the SLP has her own practice or she works in a hospital or clinic. There is also a third option. You might live near a university with a speech clinic. You could enroll your child in speech therapy lessons with graduate students who are supervised by licensed SLPs. There are benefits and drawbacks to all three of these options and in the end, it really boils down to what’s best for your child and your family. Weigh the pros and cons carefully before making a decision.

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