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What is Home Speech Therapy?

Ken Black
Ken Black

Home speech therapy refers to speech therapy services that are provided at the home of the person receiving the services. The individual receiving the therapy may be a child or an adult, but the home setting offers a level of comfort and convenience to the client that is not found in more traditional settings. Home speech therapy can also be practiced by other family members on a person having trouble speaking properly.

Pediatric speech therapy is perhaps the most common form of speech therapy in the home. Most speech therapy, in general, is directed toward younger children who have trouble formulating proper sounds, especially combination sounds, associated with speaking. Home speech therapy may be especially effective, as the child will not be distracted with new sights and sounds, and may be able to concentrate more on the task at hand.

Doctor taking notes
Doctor taking notes

A family member, such as a parent, can practice child speech therapy in the home as well. While the services are not the same as a professional will provide, often a speech therapist may give the parents and child something to work on together. Further, even reading can be a form of speech therapy by helping the child to understand sounds letters make and pronounce them in a clear way. Often, parents will be the first to know what sounds a child is having the most problems making, and will be able to focus attention on those specific sounds in home speech therapy.

Also, not all services, especially those provided by a school, are available year round, outside the home. In such cases, home speech therapy may be able to provide a bridge between school years. This may or may not be at the parent's expense, depending on the student and what the school district provides in the way of special education. Without this service, the child may regress during the summer, and lose much of what was gained during the school year. While it takes less time to learn the skills again, it is time that could have been spent creating new ones.

Adult speech therapy may also be provided in the home environment. This is especially true for people who have suffered some sort of trauma that has affected their speech. Sometimes, this trauma may affect mobility as well. Therefore, the simplest solution is for the therapist to go to the client. Taking the client to the therapist could be hazardous to his or her health, and possibly make them tired, leading to a less effective therapy session.

The decision on whether or not to use home speech therapy will likely depend on a number of concerns. Whether insurance or the school will pay for the service will be a major one for many people. If they will not, families must then decide if it is within their budget to contract for the service out of pocket. In addition, another important factor is the availability of the service in a particular area. It may be harder to find a provider in rural areas, compared to urban areas, for example.

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