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Worried about your child’s speech?

Take Action 

Step 1

Is your child meeting their developmental milestones?

Click on your child’s age to find out

Step 2

Have your child screened by a speech therapist.

Doctors referral

Talk to a doctor if you have concerns about your child's development. Your doctor may to refer you to a speech-language pathologist for a screening. Many pediatricians are not trained in speech and language development. Consider reaching out to a speech therapist directly if your concerns are not addressed.

For more help on How to Talk with a Doctor click here to download a 3 step guide.

NO DOCTORS REFERRAL

You do not need a doctors referral to have your child screened. All states are required to screen any child at risk for delays in speech or language.


Who to call

  • FREE SPEECH Screenings

    • Ages birth - 2:11 years old. Contact your state’s Early Intervention Office by state (here)

    • Ages 3-5. Head Start. Locate a Head Start Program (here)

    • School age children. Request an evaluation through your child’s school by following these 6 steps (here)

      Speech services fall under special education.

  • INSURANCE AND PRIVATE PAY SPEECH Screenings

  • American Hearing and Speech Association ProFind (here)

STEP 3

Get a speech evaluation if needed.

A speech evaluation will give you detailed information about your child’s communication skills.

The speech therapist may gather information in the following areas:

  • social skills

  • understanding and use of language

  • how clearly your child speaks

  • other areas of concerns

An evaluation may take an hour or longer to complete.

The speech therapist will share the results with you after the evaluation. This may take several weeks, but no longer than 2 months.

Results may indicate:

  • No services are needed

  • Your child has a mild delay but does not qualify for services

  • Your child qualifies for speech therapy. Schedule a meeting to set up a plan for services.

Frequently Asked Questions 

+ How do I know if my child needs speech?

Look to see if your child is meeting their developmental milestones for communication. Find these by age under Step 1 of this guide.

+ What if my doctor told me to wait and see?

Don't wait. If you have concerns it is important to have your child screened. See Step 2 of this guide.

+ How old does my child need to be?

Children of any age (even under 1) can receive services. If you have concerns don't wait to have your child tested.

+ How much does speech therapy cost?

If your child is found to be eligible, they can receive free speech therapy through your state. Children birth to three receive services through your state's Early Intervention program. If they are ages 3-18, contact your local school district's special education department for services. (See Step 2)

Speech Therapy can also be provided through local clinics and private practices. Some accept insurance or work as out-of-network/private pay providers. Click here to find a licensed speech-language pathologist in your area.

+ What if I have to wait for an evaluation?

There can be a waiting list to have your child tested. Find out what you can do to help your child with my online self-paced or interactive classes. Click Still Have Concerns above.

+ What if my child doesn't qualify?

Not all children with delays qualify for services. If you would like to know what you can do at home see my online self-paced or interactive classes. Click Still Have Concerns above.

Resources

“Learn the Signs. Act Early.” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 16 Oct. 2017, www.cdc.gov/ncbddd/actearly/milestones/index.html.

“Your Child's Communication Development: Kindergarten Through Fifth Grade.” American Speech-Language-Hearing Association, American Speech-Language-Hearing Association, www.asha.org/public/speech/development/communicationdevelopment/.