Children who face speech delay challenges need special attention. The earliest the problem is detected, the better chances of overcoming it in a short time.
That said, it’s no secret that going this route requires money.
There’s the evaluation cost and then recurring fees for each session. What’s more, these sessions have varying costs depending on many factors.
So, how much does speech therapy cost anyway?
With an idea of what to expect, you won’t have to worry about giving your child the best care possible.
- How Much Does Speech Therapy Cost?
- What Factors Affect the Total Cost of Speech Therapy?
- Helpful Resources for Speech Therapy
- The Earlier, The Better!
How Much Does Speech Therapy Cost?
Let’s see how much you’ll have to pay for speech therapy for your child and if there are any additional costs during the process.
For people not covered by insurance, the typical cost of an initial assessment ranges from $200 to $250.
A speech therapy session can cost anywhere from $100 to $250 per hour. Most SLPs take half-hour sessions, but one-hour sessions are also common.
Your therapist may ask you to buy additional resources, such as books, toddler toys, or other helpful materials, which may cost you an extra $50 or $100.
You may be eligible for special discounts based on state legislation. Your insurance plan may also offer 10% to 50% coinsurance.
What Factors Affect the Total Cost of Speech Therapy?
Speech therapy is an umbrella term that contains different strategies, techniques, and programs.
These programs and techniques vary from child to child, impacting the cost of therapy along the way.
Here are the factors that increase or decrease the cost of speech therapy:
Your Insurance Coverage
Most speech delay problems are covered by insurance, but it depends on your plan.
For example, in most cases, insurance does not cover developmental delays. Your plan may cover speech delay due to a head injury but not expressive language disorder.
Most accidental problems are covered under insurance plans.
In the case of coinsurance, you may have to pay 50% to 90% of the total cost. These percentages may also depend on the diagnosis your child receives from the physician.
The Age of the Child
A speech delay program for a toddler is completely different from the one a kid may need.
Also, you may have access to an early intervention program at no cost if your child is under three years of age.
Generally, the cost of therapy increases as your child ages, but there are exceptions.
The Severity of the Speech Challenge
This is a prime factor in determining the total cost of speech therapy, as it dictates how many sessions your child will have to attend.
The initial assessment cost is the same, no matter the severity of the challenge.
After that, the SLP may ask you to pay special attention to your child at home without the need for further sessions.
However, in most cases, the child will need at least two to three months of therapy. Children with serious speech challenges may need two to three years before recovery.
Since each session costs per hour, these fees can add up to thousands of dollars, making the entire process quite expensive.
The Frequency of the Sessions
The severity of the condition and type of diagnosis decide how frequently your child will need a therapy session. It also decides the nature of the therapy session.
For example, a child with autism needs an entirely different treatment and intervention than a child with speech delay problems.
Even children with the same diagnosis may need a completely different mechanism, as each case is unique.
These factors will impact the cost of treatment as the SLP navigates to overcome the speech delay symptoms of your child.
Where You Are Located
Costs of speech therapy vary across states. Even within a state, the cost can fluctuate.
There are various reasons for these differences.
Each state has different legislation related to speech delay challenges, and insurance companies have varied plans for different states.
Costs of living and rental costs also impact speech therapy rates because private practice is more expensive in some areas than others.
Also, you may need to travel for a therapy session if you live in a remote area.
Thus, while costs for speech therapy sessions can be estimated to an average, exact amounts are difficult to predict for each area.
Helpful Resources for Speech Therapy
Early intervention is a crucial element in cutting speech therapy costs. For that, parents must know about speech delay problems.
The involvement of parents is not only essential, but it’s also a sure way to decrease the time needed for therapy.
To help you understand the challenge at its core and to be helpful during the process of therapy, these books are a great resource:
1. Introduction to Children with Language Disorders
A book cannot diagnose a problem. However, it can give you insights to know if there is a problem that needs to be addressed.
Introduction to Children with Language Disorders is one such book.
It details normal speech patterns and compares those with delayed speech symptoms.
That way, a parent can recognize that the child is not learning like other children and need special attention.
2. Children’s Speech: An Evidence-Based Approach to Assessment and Intervention
This book is for both parents and SLPs.
If you are a practitioner, you can benefit from the research this book presents about speech disorders.
As a parent, you can make an initial assessment of your child’s language abilities and whether they are acquiring language normally or not.
The topics are backed by evidence collected about speech disorders around the world and are authentic and practical.
3. Language Disorders From Infancy Through Adolescence
Sometimes children do not exhibit any clear symptoms, but some passive signs can give away speech problems.
Language Disorders From Infancy Through Adolescence contains all those visible and latent signals that should alarm you about your child’s speech issues.
The book boasts years of research with practical solutions to give you a valuable arsenal in your fight against your child’s speech challenges.
You can use it to develop strategies that will help your child learn better social and communication skills.
The Earlier, The Better!
Now that you know how much does speech therapy cost and what factors affect it, you can better plan your child’s treatment.
The parents’ involvement is crucial for a speedy recovery, but you should never try to diagnose your child’s problems yourself.
Many disorders have similar symptoms, so trying to play doctor can prove disastrous.
If you feel your child’s language skills are not on par with other children, consult a specialist right away.
In the process, check your insurance plan and state regulations before consulting a therapist for maximum discounts and coverage.