Process to Find a Speech Language Pathologist
We will help you navigate below through the steps to think about when wanting to find a SLP.
You will want to figure out these details
What is your motivation to go to speech therapy?
What amount, length, and cost of treatment is expected from the therapist.
What amount of success can be expected from therapy
What is your goal for going to speech therapy?
What are some possible goals for speech therapy?
Note: This will vary depending on the person who stutters and the therapist. An evaluation will be needed to determine these factors. Evaluations can sometimes take several hours. Check with your health insurer if the evaluation cost is covered or not.
Questions you will want to ask a potential Speech Therapist
● Are you in my Employers network (if applicable)?
● Are you willing to join my employer’s network, if you are not already in the network?
● How comfortable are you with treating stuttering? Not every speech therapist is comfortable working with Stuttering, as Speech Language Pathologist do not all specifically work in Fluency.
● How many teens and adults who stutter have you worked with? This will help you determine whether the speech pathologist has the kind of experience you need.
● What do you think the primary goals of stuttering therapy should be for a teen/adult? This will help you decide whether the speech pathologist's ideas about goals match your own.
● What approaches do you (therapist) use in speech therapy? How often is therapy scheduled? These questions are important because some types of therapy work best when you can go on an intensive schedule (i.e., every day for several hours each day across several weeks). Sometimes the therapy schedule the speech pathologist offers will not work for you because of your job or family commitments. It's important to know this up front.
Factors to Consider
Therapy Design Varies
Programs designed to offer therapy for people who stutter vary in the amounts of time. The range of time be from a certain number of hours in therapy each week to 40 hours over a three-week period which could be typical for a more intensive treatment program. Intensive treatment is not necessarily a one size fits all people solution. People can take more time to work through the effects that stuttering has had on their life and well-being. Speech pathologists do not always offer every type of treatment option. Therefore, it is important to understand the therapist’s practices and method to achieve the desired results. An evaluation will be needed to make an assessment of the type of therapy and the length of time recommended to receive therapy. A typical evaluation could possibly last from two to four hours depending on whether you have had one in the past or not. The evaluation charge might cost between $300 and $500 depending on your location and therapist costs. Fees are variable, so we recommend you call the therapists to determine the cost before you schedule the evaluation. Then check with your insurer on coverage for the initial costs.
Regular therapy sessions might be an approach to enhance the well-being of the person who stutters by having sessions once or twice a week for thirty minutes to an hour for an extended period. The amount of time someone will see a therapist will vary based on the individual needs. A baseline therapy taking may take from 6 to 18 months.
Pricing for therapy can vary in many ways based on Geographic location, insurance, and the speech pathologist’s hourly rate. Estimated figures for one hour session will potentially cost between forty-five to ninety dollars. Many people are unaware that some universities and hearing clinics will offer an evaluation and therapy provided by people in a training program. This offering is provided at a lower rate due to the nature of the professionals training while giving the service.
It is important before going to an evaluation or therapy to contact your insurance company to know what is covered or not covered. You will also want to understand if the insurance company will only cover therapy that comes from an injury causing you to go to speech therapy for restorative treatment (i.e. a brain injury or stroke prompted therapy). Some insurance companies treat a chronic speech disability differently in their coverages. (You may want to read SFA's Guide to Obtaining Reimbursement for Stuttering Treatment.)
Success Criteria Expectations
For people who stutter, we want you to welcome a possibility for success. Success criteria will vary for each individual because people want different things out of their communication effectiveness. Many people question if speech therapy will be able to help them at any time in their life. Past experiences or falling short from the certain expectations might limit someone’s ability to think speech therapy is an option for them. Sometimes when we are in our darkest moments, we do not see any path as a road to improvement. For those who have a stutter their entire life, it is unlikely to go away. The sooner a person can gain acceptance that stuttering could be a part of them the rest of their life, the sooner that person will be able to choose options to create a greater sense of well-being. The goal in acceptance is for people to be the best versions of themselves while gaining skills to be an effective communicator.
Speech Therapy Goals
Goals are important to set in life to maintain a growth mindset to enhance improvement for greater well-being. Therapy around speech looks different for each individual based on various factors including the age and experiences the individual has been through. The older a person is will likely increase a therapy focus on other things surrounding the physical movements of speech. As a person ages the emotions, habits, thoughts, and behaviors surrounding a person’s stutter can become more important to improve than the mechanics of speech. You might consider some of the possible therapy goals below:
Gain more knowledge about stuttering
Increasing effective communication by using eye contact and paraphrasing
Reduction in tension and the struggle in speaking
Decrease switching words or avoidance behavior
Is the goal related to a short-term event like a presentation or are the goals related to long term change in speaking confidence?
Reduction of stuttering frequency
A speech pathologist specializing in stuttering should be able to help build paths to lead to your personal goals if you are aligned in your approach. Being a speech therapist and managing the complexity of different issues going on in a person might not allow a therapist to help your specific situation. This is not meant to discourage you, it just means that person might not be the right fit, or there might be some other form of help that will be beneficial for your growth.
Go to the instructions we have provided to help you find a provider in network to begin your conversations.
REFERRAL NOTE: Stutter Navigator does not warrant the competency of these speech-language pathologists nor guarantee the effectiveness of their treatment. As with any referral, speak with the professional and ask questions.
Spero Seal: Ally of Stuttering
Are you a speech therapist wanting to obtain an Ally of Stuttering Seal as a Speech Language Pathologist?
You can find a training path for the generalist SLP to learn more about stuttering and people who stutter. This seal shows your prioritization in stuttering as an area of professional growth post graduate school.
Individuals looking to get the seal submit an application via email providing documentation of their credentials, additional training obtained, and involvement in the stuttering community.