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Private Speech Therapy

Convenient & Effective Speech Therapy

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What is private speech therapy?

Often times, speech and language therapy is lumped into two different groups, especially for children. There is what is known as ‘private’ speech therapy and then there is what is known as ‘public’ speech therapy. Public speech therapy is typically provided in a school setting, though the therapy is still provided by a licensed or provisionally (and supervised) licensed speech-language pathologist.

In a private setting, speech and language therapy is still provided by a licensed speech-language pathologist, however the facilities and services in which the therapy is provided are typically owned by a company or the speech-language pathologist themselves. In many cases, for private speech-language therapy, insurance is utilized to pay for the therapy. Or the parents/caregivers pay out of pocket for the services. In a public-school setting, the services are typically free to the parents/caregivers (in the United States), as children in the public school system are entitled to treatment if it is deemed necessary by the speech-language pathologist and other professionals.

Private Speech Therapy


What is the difference between school speech therapy and private therapy?

Speech and language therapy provided by a public school system can seem a bit different than speech and language therapy in a private setting. However, they are actually similar in many ways. For example, the assessment is going to remain the same, and therefore the methods of treatment will remain the same. The only difference would be which approach for treatment the therapist chooses to utilize. However, ways in which therapy may look different in a public setting versus a private setting include:

  • Private settings can sometimes offer longer and more frequent sessions, depending on the child’s needs. This is unfortunately sometimes due to the fact that public school speech-language pathologists might have many children on their caseload at once, and therefore they cannot offer longer and more frequent sessions.

  • Private settings can offer one-on-one time with the speech-language pathologist. In the public school setting, a child might share their session with other children.

  • Public school speech therapy is often free to the parents/caregivers, whereas in a private setting the parents/caregivers may be expected to pay out of pocket.


How private speech therapy for adults works?

Private speech and language therapy for adults is tailored to the adults' cognitive status and offers a personalized and focused approach to address their specific communication needs and goals. Although private speech therapy for adults and in-clinic speech therapy share many similarities, there are a few key differences between the two:

  • Setting: Private ST typically takes place in a private practice or clinic setting, while in-clinic ST refers to therapy provided within a larger clinic or healthcare facility, often as part of a multidisciplinary team.

  • Individualized Attention: Private ST offers more one-on-one time between the speech-language pathologist and the patient, meaning therapy is more geared to that person as an individual rather than as a group of individuals with the same diagnosis.

  • Flexibility and Scheduling: private speech therapy may offer more flexibility in terms of scheduling appointments, as well as the duration and frequency of the sessions. Note: In some cases, insurance may dictate the duration and frequency of sessions, depending on what the insurance covers.

  • Cost and Insurance: Private speech and language services are typically paid for through insurance or out of pocket by the individual or their family.


What are the benefits of private speech therapy?

There are many benefits to private speech and language therapy. While some may have concerns over the cost if they do not have insurance or their insurance is not accepted by the private provider, for many people, the benefit outweighs the cost. Some benefits of private speech and language therapy include:

  • More one-on-one time with the speech-language pathologist. Sometimes in a public treatment setting, groups of individuals with a similar diagnosis are placed together for their speech and language sessions. In a private setting, unless it is known as a ‘group therapy’ session, the sessions will typically be solely between the speech-language pathologist and the client.

  • Longer therapy duration and greater frequency of therapy: In a private setting, there is typically more room for longer sessions and greater frequency, as long as it can be justified to insurance in order to receive coverage.

  • Closer relationships between the speech-language pathologists and the clients: more one-on-one time and more sessions lead to improved relationships between the speech-language pathologist and their client/clients. This way an SLP can get to know their patients better and provide a more personalized treatment.



How private speech therapy process looks like?

The private speech and language therapy process can look very similar to the public speech and language therapy process:

  • Referral: Typically, an individual seeks out speech and language services following some sort of referral to the private practice. This referral can be through a healthcare provider or even through the parent/caregiver themselves if they have concerns. Following the referral, the private facility will typically set up some sort of appointment for an assessment.

  • Background check: A speech-language pathologist will typically gather background information on the client. This might be through a parent/caregiver or through the individual themselves. The speech-language pathologist might ask for medical history, developmental history, as well as family history.

  • Assessment/Evaluation: If the speech-language pathologist deems it appropriate and necessary, an evaluation might be performed. Typically, the evaluation will be a norm-based assessment that compares scores with individuals of a similar age in order to diagnose a deficit if it is present.

If it is apparent that a deficit is present (a speech, language, swallowing, cognitive disorder, etc.) then speech and language therapy can be offered to the parent/caregiver or the individual.

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