What You Should Know About Speech Therapy for Kids

By: Updated: October 5, 2021

When a child has problems with social — verbal and nonverbal — communications, social communication disorders may occur, requiring some form of speech therapy.


What Is a Speech Language Pathologist?

The role of an SLP or speech language therapist is to diagnose, assess, prevent, and treat children and adults with speech impediments, communication disorders, language impairments, swallowing disorders, cognitive communication, or another issue that disrupts the ability to speak properly. It is also worth mentioning that a speech pathologist is no different from a speech therapist. These terms are often used interchangeably by those outside the profession.


What Qualifies a Child for Speech Therapy?

According to the American Speech and Hearing Association (ASHA), by the age of one, toddlers will say one or two words. By 18 months old, they should know around 20 words; however, if they don’t reach these targets, don’t panic just yet. Some kids are just slower in developing language skills than others. Children may benefit by working with a speech pathologist if they are over the age of three and do any of the following:

  • Mispronounce vowels
  • Use mostly vowels when they talk
  • Use single words only without sentences or phrases
  • Have a limited vocabulary
  • Struggle to use pronouns
  • Their vocabulary is not extending enough from month to month


How Long Do you Need Speech Therapy?

How long it takes for speech therapy depends on a number of factors, including the duration, intensity, and frequency of treatments, but mainly the language disorder. Speech disorders can result from many issues, such as developmental delays, receptive/expressive language skills, head injuries, cognition, cerebral palsy, pragmatic language skills, or others, and some may require a longer duration of treatments. It is also important to remember that every child learns at their own pace. What can help speed up the process is helping children practice speech therapy at home.


How Much Does Speech Therapy Cost for Kids?

Pediatric speech therapy is usually covered by most health insurance plans, but some policies may limit the number of sessions. In addition, some policies may cover short-term speech pathology required due to acute illness or injury, but may not cover speech therapy for developmental delays. If you have health insurance, you may be expected to pay a coinsurance of 10% to 50% for children's therapy services. If you don’t have insurance, an initial speech therapy assessment may cost around $190. After that, regular sessions will cost around $100 to $250 per hour


When to Seek Children's Speech Therapy

If you notice your child struggling with words, you should seek help right away, because the sooner your child begins therapy, the sooner their speech will improve and progress. Having a speech impairment can be frustrating for a child and can interfere with their education and social life since most kids will try to avoid talking to others and expressing themselves. 


Are you incorporated in Canada?

Small business owners and incorporated individuals in Canada can use a Health Spending Account (HSA) to save up to 40% of their medical expenses.  An HSA has no premiums and it is a cost effective alternative to traditional health insurance.  The plan covers a wide variety of health and dental expenses.  An HSA takes only a few minutes to set up.  Learn more by downloading one of our guides.


Find out more about Health Spending Account (HSA), download my free guides:

Download the HSA Guide for Incorporated Individuals Download the HSA Guide for a Business with Staff

What's in this article

Subscribe to thge small buisness outlook

Subscribe to the blog