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Choosing a Speech Therapy Setting

The many settings for speech-language therapy sessions include school, private clinic, private home based, children’s hospital, and university. There are pros and cons for each setting.

SCHOOL

School based therapy is limited to eligible children which comes at no cost, and therapy happens during school hours which is convenient.  However school caseloads are heavy, individual one on one sessions are rare, specific therapist expertise is unlikely, and scheduling conflicts with academics can result in other consequences.  Additionally, wait times for services can be high.

HOME

Home therapy is more flexible and happens one on one in a way that is flexible to your schedule.  However the home can be distracting, and materials and resources are limited to what the therapist can bring with them.

CLINIC

Clinic based therapy maintains schedule flexibility, more materials and resources, and individualized attention.  In addition there are limited distractions and things are setup to be fun and productive.  However in large clinics you might find continuity of therapists to be a challenge, and you’ll need to drive to the clinic.

HOSPITAL

Hospital based therapy enables access to amazing resources and state of the art diagnostics as well as specialists and coordinated therapist teams that may be especially important for complex cases.  However top hospitals have long waiting lists, with high competition for prime scheduling slots, and long drives to get to therapy.  Additionally, continuity of care may be limited, and it’s an option that may be far too expensive to choose without insurance coverage.

UNIVERSITY

University based therapy often has a lower cost because sessions are conducted by supervised students.  Access to the latest tools and equipment are another benefit.  However even though students are supervised, they are not yet licensed clinicians, so they have limited experience.  Additionally the therapists rotate by semester which limits rapport building, between the child and therapist as well as between the therapist and the rest of the team (pediatrician, teacher, ot, pt, etc)