Are you looking for options for summer speech therapy? Many kids who get speech therapy during the school year via an IEP don’t have speech in the summer months. Summer school based speech services are usually fairly limited to a smaller number of students. Those who do qualify may not get the same frequency of sessions that they had during the school year. As a result, many parents decide to supplement with private speech therapy during the summer break. This article discusses some considerations when selecting a speech therapist for summer speech.
Does my child need speech over the summer?
The first decision to make is whether you’d like your child to continue with speech therapy during the school break. There’s no one answer that works for everyone, but here are a few considerations.
How much is your child impacted by their communication difficulty?
If your child experiences distress because others don’t understand them, keeping up with the speech therapy can help maintain a steady level of progress. That steady progress can help to minimize frustration.
Does your child benefit from having a routine?
I’ve worked with kids during the summer break in the past specifically because a) they needed speech therapy and b) the abrupt switch to summer vacation left them feeling unregulated and having appointments scheduled during the week helped provide some structure to an otherwise structured time. Their parents were able to use the speech therapy appointments to help break up the day and give everyone some routine to follow.
In past summers, has your child regressed or improved?
For some kids, the break from services may lead to some drop off in skills. For others, taking a break to just recharge can be therapeutic on its own. These kids might make even faster progress after a break.
Has your child only recently started services? Or had a recent break from services for any other reason?
Sometimes, the timing of summer break is just inconvenient with where they are in their therapy journey. If your child started treatment in January or February, they may have not had enough time to make serious gains yet, or they may just be starting to ramp up in progress. For other kids, life events like surgeries or other family events may have caused them to miss some school, or miss some therapy. In these cases, kids may benefit from summer services for some continuity. If they’ve been making great progress lately, you may want to continue on that trend by keeping services going throughout the summer.
How do I find private speech therapy for my child over summer break?
Summer speech therapy can take place at a hospital outpatient clinic or through a private practice. You may want to consider things like location, experience of the therapist, and cost.
Speech therapy often includes a weekly session with the therapist. You can visit the therapist in their office, find a therapist who does home visits, or work with a therapist over teletherapy. There are pros and cons to all three scenarios, so think about what would work best for your family. To read more about how to decide if online speech therapy is a good solution for your family, head over to our blog post on the topic!
Experience of the Therapist
Speech-language pathologists are licensed and certified to treat a broad spectrum of communication and feeding and swallowing difficulties across the lifespan. It’s definitely okay to chat with the therapist before signing up to decide if that clinician’s background and expertise will be a good match for you and your family. You can visit Verboso’s therapist page to read about the backgrounds of our team of SLPs!
Private speech therapy can vary in cost and knowing what to expect up front can help you find an option that works well for your family’s budget. Some insurance policies do cover speech therapy for kids’ developmental speech difficulties, and others may require a qualifying medical diagnosis or medical event. The best way to know if your policy covers speech therapy is to ask your insurer directly. You can talk to a speech therapist about codes they may bill to an insurance company that will help you to know for sure if the services will be covered.
If you’re paying out of pocket without insurance, find out what the session rate is for the therapist you’re considering. There’s a wide range in what different clinics charge. You can read about the cost of Verboso’s treatment solutions on our therapy services page.
Home Speech Practice During Summer Break
Your child’s school speech therapist will likely give you some home practice materials to work on speech and language goals with your child over summer break. Helping your child complete their speech homework over the summer break can certainly be a good option. By doing a home practice program, you’re able to help your child maintain skills they learned during the school year.
Verboso offers options for home practice through our Game Pass subscription and as a part of all of our teletherapy services. All of our families get access to our suite of one-of-a-kind speech therapy video games that are designed to help improve speech sound skills. You can use the Game Pass to help your child yourself, or to supplement therapy from another clinic.
Overall, there are lots of great options available to parents to help support their child’s speech and communication skills over summer break. If you have questions, please don’t hesitate to ask!!