Speech/Language Assessment and Treatment

Frequently Asked Questions



Speech and Language Questions

1. What causes speech and language disorders or delays? Each speech and language disorder or delay is unique and can be caused by a variety of factors. It is important to have suspected speech and language problems evaluated by a licensed speech-language pathologist. After a full evaluation, a reason or possible cause, for the disorder or delay can be discussed.

2. How often will my child have to be seen for speech therapy? Each case is different, but for the most part, clients are seen twice a week for 30-60 minute sessions. More involved children, like children with autism or Down Syndrome, may require more sessions per week, or 60 minute sessions.


3. How do I know if my child needs to have his speech and language skills evaluated? Typically physicians or teachers will notice a delay or disorder in a child's communication skills. They can recommend that your child be evaluated. Parents may also notice a delay in communication skills, and should discuss their concerns with their child's doctor and teacher, or contact a speech-language pathologist for an evaluation. Parents may also notice behavior problems arising from school-aged children because the children are frustrated with their communication problems, but aren't sure of how to express their problems to adults. In any case, if you are concerned about your child's speech and language development and/or use, please contact us to schedule an appointment.


4. My child is only two years old, but isn't communicating like other two-year-olds. Should I wait for him to "grow out of it"? No, please contact us for an appointment to evaluate your child's communication skills immediately. Typically, if children are showing a delay in communication skills at this young of an age, treatment is quick, as early intervention works very fast and effectively. It is always better to be safe than sorry! Your child now could be lacking only some comprehension of basic language concepts, but if not treated now, could develop into academic, social, communication, and behavioral difficulties down the road.


5. My child was dismissed from speech therapy at his school. I feel that he still needs treatment, what can I do and why was he dismissed at school? Remember that school districts operate under separate guidelines than private practitioners. For a child to receive speech and language therapy in the schools it must prove to be "educationally relevant" and must focus on educational goals and objectives. Your child may have been dismissed because they had reached a higher functioning communication level, and it was no longer "educationally relevant" for them to be seen at school. If you feel that your child still needs speech and language services, you have the right to pursue private treatment from a speech-language pathologist in a private practice setting.


6. What is the difference between a 'screening' and an 'evaluation'?
A screening is a very brief, overall glimpse at an individual's communication skills. It skims over all areas of speech and language, including articulation, fluency, voice, grammar, vocabulary, conversational skills, and language memory. Screenings usually take only 15-20 minutes to conduct, and are relatively inexpensive procedures. Screenings only indicate whether further, in-depth testing is warranted in any specific communication area(s). On the other hand, a comprehensive evaluation is a lengthy, in-depth and detailed look at an individual’s communication skills. Evaluations typically take an hour or more to administer, and are more costly. Comprehensive speech and language evaluations give specific, detailed results of all areas tested, and result in more adequate and appropriate results. Upon completion of a comprehensive evaluation the parent or client receives a written report of the results, including professional recommendations.


7.  What does a comprehensive speech-language evaluation entail? 

The purpose of the speech/language evaluation is to measure how well your child speaks and understands. The types of measures and activities used will change based on the age of your child. Younger children may be tested using toys and games while older children may be evaluated using testing involving mostly pictures and questions.  Different parts of the evaluation measure different speech and language skills. During the evaluation we will be looking at how your child makes his or her speech sounds, how easy it is to understand your child's speech, how he or she understands language and follows directions, and how your child uses words to communicate thoughts and answer questions. The speech-language pathologist will also look at your child's mouth to see if he or she is having any trouble moving parts of the mouth. After the testing is completed and a report written, the speech-language pathologist will review the test results with you and make recommendations. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to ask the speech-language pathologist to explain anything you do not understand. If therapy services are recommended, the speech-language pathologist will explain the process for scheduling those appointments. The speech-language pathologist may also give you some ideas of things that you can do at home to improve your child's speech and language skills.


8. How will I know if my child has delayed speech and/or language skills?
Please see our Speech and Language Developmental Milestones chart.


General Questions


1. Does Swan Communication Therapies accept insurance?  We currently do not accept insurance.  However, some insurance companies do cover or reimburse payment for speech and language therapy services by ASHA certified SLPs. Each client should check with his or her own company and review their policy coverage and restrictions to confirm. 

2. Do I need a referral to receive speech or language therapy? Since we only accept private pay clients, we do not require a physician's referral or prescription, but our therapists may ask for one to keep on file.


3. What ages does Swan Communication Therapies see? Typically we see clients ages 18 months to young adult.


4. What days and/or hours do you work? Because we treat clients in their natural environments and with a family-centered approach, our hours are typically flexible and include weekday, weekend and some evenings.  Please contact us to discuss a therapy schedule.

5. When do you require payment for therapy services? We typically will submit a monthly bill to you payable upon receipt.  However, please contact us if you require a different payment schedule we will do our best to accommodate your request.


6. Can your therapists co-treat with therapists of other disciplines, like Occupational Therapists, or Audiologists? Yes! We are able to co-treat with therapists of any other discipline, including but not limited to: Occupational Therapists, Physical Therapists, Massage Therapists, Behavior Analysts/Therapists, Audiologists, Psychologists, Neuro-Psychologists, Ear-Nose-and-Throat physicians, and many more. Also, if you feel that your child requires additional therapy services, such as occupational therapy, we would be happy to refer you to several excellent professionals of the above mentioned disciplines.  In addition, we are pleased to provide a small sensory-motor/language group which is run by both an occupational therapist and a speech-language pathologist.

7. What is 'Natural Environment' therapy? Natural environment therapy refers to speech and language therapy services being given in the client's natural communication environments.  These environments can include the client’s home, school, or after school care facility. Providing this type of therapy significantly reduces the client's need to learn to generalize, or carryover skills learned in treatment to his or her natural communication environments because the skills are being taught in those environments.   Please feel free to contact Swan Communication Therapies to further discuss our natural environment therapy services, or if you have any questions specific to your child or family needs.


8. Do you accept credit cards?  We currently only accept cash or check payable to Swan Communication Therapies.


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