Private speech therapy is speech therapy offered in a private setting, which can be the office of a speech-language pathologist, the patient's home, or a private office within a school which provides supportive services for students with developmental disabilities. Some patients require private speech therapy due to their unique conditions, while others may progress more quickly in private therapy than they do in group therapy. This type of speech therapy is available for adults and children struggling with speech disorders.
The goal of speech therapy is to address speech problems. It is typically conducted by a speech-language pathologist who has received training in the numerous conditions which can interfere with speech, ranging from auditory processing disorders to physical abnormalities. When conducted in private, speech therapy is individualized to suit the patient's needs, and it moves at the patient's pace.
Private speech therapy usually starts with a consultation in which the speech pathologist meets with the patient to determine the nature of the patient's problems and start developing a treatment plan which will work for the patient. Therapy sessions can last between half an hour and an hour, depending on the patient's age and level of development, and they include a variety of exercises to help the patient communicate more effectively. The patient may also be given homework in the form of exercises to do at home.
For some patients, group speech therapy is effective and highly useful, in addition to being lower in cost. Others need private speech therapy to do well in speech therapy because of the nature of their conditions, or because of associated developmental or physical disabilities which make it hard for the patient to work with a group. At-home therapy may be preferable for some private therapy patients, while others may travel to a speech pathology clinic or visit a speech pathologist's office.
Some school districts provide private speech therapy to students who would benefit from speech therapy. In this case, the therapist works on school grounds, conducting speech therapy sessions and performing student assessments. For low-income students, this may be the only way to access speech therapy services, as parents might not be able to afford such services without the help of a school district or government agency. Private speech therapy is also available in hospitals and rehabilitation clinics, so that patients have access to a full range of services which can help them recover or address congenital conditions.