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Private Speech and Language Therapy

By July 4, 2018March 9th, 2020Parent Resources

Some children are eligible for speech and language services through the public school system. It is important to understand the differences between school-based and private services.

What are the major differences between school-based and private therapy?

Private Model School-Based Model
Eligibility Delays and disorders are treated. A formal or informal assessment is used to determine the presence of a disorder or delay. In some instances, language differences are also treated in a private clinic (e.g. accent modification). There is no formal eligibility process.E.g. A six-year-old says /w/ for /l/. This could be treated in a private clinic, as 90% of children have developed /l/ by the age of 6. Children are eligible for services through an eligibility process. For a child to be eligible there must be an identified disability that affects a child’s access to the school-based curriculum.E.g. A six-year-old says /w/ for /l/. The team determines that while there are delayed articulation skills, the team finds that the child is not eligible for school-based services because it is not a disability and does not impact access to the curriculum.  
Goals Goals are updated as often as appropriate. Goals are written for a year. They can only be amended with a new IEP.
Grouping Private therapy is typically performed in individual sessions unless working on social skills with other children. Unless your child’s IEP guarantees it, school-based services typically are conducted in groups.
Communication Communication occurs immediately following a session. The SLP can provide you with ideas about what worked well and things you can practice at home. Communication with the school-based SLP is guaranteed yearly at the annual IEP meeting and written feedback is given as determined by your IEP (often as frequently as report cards).
Timing Speech therapy can be conducted after school.Mutually agreed upon times between the clinician and family allow for uninterrupted services throughout the calendar year. The child may miss classroom instruction to attend speech therapy.Therapy typically follows the school calendar (no services in the summer or school vacations)  unless the student demonstrates substantial regression.
Training A school-based and private SLP should have the same education, which is regulated by their governing body ASHA. No matter the setting you choose, be sure that your child is seeing a certified speech-language pathologist (CCC-SLP). Both within the school setting and privately, a clinician may specialize and have advanced training in a specific disorder. Ask your SLP about their experience working with a child like yours!

For a downloadable chart, click here: School-based vs. private model

My child was not found eligible for speech and language services through school? Can I still pursue private speech and language therapy?

Private therapy is a great option for children who do not qualify for school-based services. Because of eligibility differences, many children who do not qualify for school-based services may be able to receive private services instead.

My child receives school-based speech and language services, can I still receive private therapy?

Yes, in fact, many clients do receive both school-based and private services.

Call OWL Pediatric Therapy LLC at (978) 496-8313 to see if private speech and language therapy is right for your family.