Frequently Asked Questions About Speech & Language Therapy
If you’ve never seen a speech language therapist before, you likely have dozens of questions on how the process works.
Some questions are more common than others, so we’ve put together this document with some of the questions we get most often.
If you don’t see your question here, feel free to reach out and ask.
In most cases, no. Some insurance carriers/plans require you to have a script from your doctor. In general, however, you can book an appointment and begin treatment without having to go through your doctor. To be on the safe side, check your insurance plan for more details.
Sometimes. In the case of tongue thrust, for example, most kids will do so before they begin teething. However, early intervention in speech issues is critical to helping your child. If your child is showing signs of a speech disorder or learning disability, it’s a good idea to enroll them in speech language therapy as soon as possible.
It’s better for your child to have speech therapy and not need it, than to live with an untreated speech or language disorder.
You absolutely do NOT need to get rid of your accent!
Some people find their accent can interfere with their ability to communicate. If this is the case with you, accent modification therapy can help you learn to speak in a way that’s easier to understand for those native to the Washington DC area.
An accent is not a speech disorder. It’s a fact of language – everyone has an accent. If your accent is causing you problems, we can help you modify it. But if you like your accent, don’t worry about it!
All Speech language therapists in the United States are licensed to practice by the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association – ASHA. ASHA maintains a public registry on their website of everyone currently licensed to practice. You can find it here.
It’s always a good idea to verify your speech language therapist is qualified to practice with this register.
Yes, anyone who holds the required credentials can practice as a speech therapist. You need to hold a master’s degree or better in your chosen field of study.
Is Speech Language Therapy Covered By My Insurance?
It may be. We can verify your insurance coverage for you – contact us here at District Speech to find out.
Additionally, if your child under 3, they may qualify for free speech therapy services under the Strong Start, a parent focused intervention program. For more information, consult the program website.
If your child is 3 and older (and either about to enter school or already in school) they may qualify for an Individualized Education Plan (IEP). See this website for details.
Speech issues in children can have wide-ranging consequences. Beyond having a bit of a lisp or pronouncing words unusually, a speech issue can cause issues with their self-esteem. It can also signify deeper issues, like a learning disability or problems with their hearing.
Because they aren’t able to communicate as well as their peers, a speech issue in a child can cause them to have trouble making friends. This can stunt their growth socially.
Children with learning disabilities face greater challenges in life as well. According to research from the US Bureau of Justice, nearly a third of the inmates in the federal prison system have a learning disability, many of them untreated. Compare this with the 20% of the general population with a learning disability.
Children with untreated learning disabilities are more likely to be unemployed when they grow up as well, according to the US Bureau of Labor.
However, there is hope. Speech language therapy can help your child manage their learning disability or speech issues. They can still go to college, get a good job, and build a good life for themselves, and a speech language therapist can help.
If you’re an adult with a speech issue, it can cause a number of difficulties.
One of the most significant ones is self esteem. Not being able to communicate can lead to loneliness and social isolation. It can create difficulties in your interpersonal relationships, interfering with your ability to form and maintain friendships. It may interfere with romantic relationships as well, and hold you back from advancement in your career.
If you identify as transgender and your voice doesn’t match your gender identity, this can cause significant depression and anxiety.
In each of these cases, speech therapy may help provide relief.
Pediatricians don’t always have the training needed to be able to recognize when a child needs the services of a speech language therapist. They often take the “wait and see” approach. If you have a concern with your child, many pediatricians will provide you with a referral to see a speech therapist if you insist. However, if they won’t provide one, don’t worry – you likely don’t need a referral to see us here at District Speech. Don’t wait and see if your child has a speech/language delay. Set up an evaluation with District Speech and we will be able to provide definitive answers and strategies you can use today.
Contact District Speech
Do you have a question that isn’t listed here?
If so, contact us today.
We’ll be happy to answer any inquiry you may have about speech and language therapy.
Contact District Speech today.