Frequently Asked Questions
My son is seeing a speech therapist at school and my father saw a speech-language pathologist after a stroke. What is the difference between the two?
Speech-language pathologist (SLP) is the term for someone who has received an undergraduate and graduate degree in speech and language therapy from an accredited university. Many people use the two terms interchangeably, however speech therapy is the service provided by a speech-language pathologist. Speech-language pathologists in private practices, hospital settings and public schools have the same level of training in college. Some professionals will choose to specialize in adults or children. Others may become even more specialized, focusing on one area such as swallowing, voice disorders, autism, head injuries or children up to three years old.
My daughter did not qualify for speech therapy in her public school. Does that mean that she will outgrow her speech problems?
Unfortunately not. It means that she did not meet the criteria required for the public school system. The state has specific requirements that children must meet to receive speech or language therapy in school. Additionally, the disability must have a negative impact on the student’s education. Therefore a student who has a lisp that does not affect her ability to spell or discourage her from participating in class may not qualify for services.
I want to get extra speech therapy for my child this summer. He gets speech once per week at school. What are the benefits to private therapy? Would additional therapy be confusing for my child?
It is fine to work with two speech-language pathologists. The two professionals may collaborate throughout the year, discussing the student’s goals and progress. Parents must give their consent before professionals can speak about a student, however. Private speech-language pathologists usually work with students individually.
This is typically not the case in a public school setting due to limited state funding and high student caseloads. Additionally, some districts use speech therapy assistants to provide therapy. They are supervised by a speech-language pathologist but there is no specific training required to become a speech therapy assistant.