How Much Does Speech Therapy Cost in Oregon?
A speech therapist is a high-level professional who is engaged not only in setting the necessary sounds but also develops the entire speech system as a whole. Many parents who are worried about problems with the child’s speech are forced to resort to the services of this specialist. How much does a speech therapy session cost and in what cases should you contact a specialist? You will find the answers in our article.
Functions of a speech therapist
Many people believe that speech therapists help to pronounce words correctly and teach the correct pronunciation of sounds. In fact, the functions of such specialists include many other responsibilities:
- Procedure for speech therapy and probe massage;
- Development of articulation;
- Conducting breathing exercises;
- Carrying out sound analysis;
- Preparing the child for writing words, sentences, including setting the correct position of the hand while writing;
- Elimination of problems of dyslalia and dysarthria, as well as prevention of their occurrence;
- Diagnostics of the child’s speech development by age, including the identification of psychological reasons that cause problems with speech or lack of it;
- Restoration of the voice after suffering pharyngitis and laryngitis;
- Help in overcoming communication barriers (including for non-speaking children);
- Setting the correct pronunciation of sounds and words, etc.
As you can see, a speech therapist is a real professional who helps to overcome speech problems by applying professional knowledge and a variety of techniques. A specialist does not follow the same treatment regimen. In most cases, each child has individual speech defects that a speech therapist should recognize and eliminate in the near future.
Cost of speech therapy in Oregon
Prices for speech therapy sessions in Oregon depend on many factors: the type of the problem, the child’s learning ability, the type of therapy (individual or group), the duration of treatment, the qualifications of the specialist, his/her experience, etc.
The average cost of a 30-minute session ranges from $100-$250 in most local areas. At the first visit, the specialist diagnoses the problem, advises the parents and selects an individual schedule for the child, or offers to undergo group therapy with children who have the same problems.
The cost of one session largely depends on the location of the lesson. For example, when studying in a speech therapy center or other special institutions, the price for 1 visit will be $100-$150. If you want your child to study at home, then the prices will be higher ($200-$250).
Group sessions are cheaper than individual ones. The average cost of speech therapy sessions in a group starts from $50. When buying a subscription for several visits, the price of one session may be lower.
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- Not all parents understand the importance of early diagnosis and timely elimination of the problem. The younger the child is, the easier it is to correct his/her speech defects and prevent them from appearing in the future;
- Do not think that speech problems will disappear as the child grows up. Often, such “hack-work” still leads to seeking help from specialists, but in this case, it will take more time to fix the defects;
- Monitor your baby’s speech development. Each age has its own norms in which the child must fit. Do not be alarmed if your child has slight deviations. They are acceptable at every age;
- You should not engage in self-correction of the child’s speech. Firstly, you can harm, secondly, you must know exactly the causes of the problem, and thirdly, professional help is needed. Only a speech therapist can prescribe the right treatment and conduct useful activities using a variety of techniques and beneficial procedures.
Remember that you are responsible for the upbringing, development and future of your child. If you do not contact a speech therapist in time, your child may have serious speech problems, which will take a lot of time, effort and financial investment to fix.
A little more about the problem
Someone will say that the described problems have a purely psychological basis. And there is some truth in this.
In any case, when the first “alarm bells” appear, you need to go to a speech therapist, because parents without special knowledge will hardly be able to help their child effectively.
Ideally, the child should visit a specialized doctor at least once a year. Then speech disorders, and hence development, will be minimized because every speech therapist is also an experienced psychologist. He or she can help non-speaking children to:
- Develop articulation;
- Conduct breathing exercises;
- Carry out probe massage;
- Perform speech therapy massage procedures, etc.
It is very important for the kids who are just going to the first grade to speak correctly. This is not only important from the point of view of transmitting an accurate thought. Classmates can be cruel, and therefore they can tease their peers until graduation. Children aged 5-6 years will need a speech therapist for:
- Development of speech, work with sounds;
- Conducting sound analysis to prepare for writing;
- Hand positioning (highly recommended for left-handers and children with latent left-handedness);
- Elimination of dysarthria, dyslalia;
- Applying breathing exercises.
It is recommended to show your child to a speech therapist to diagnose speech development, as well as correct violations in written speech, that is, to prevent dysgraphia and dyslexia.
How to choose a speech therapist for your child
There are many speech therapists in Oregon, but the problem of choice is also quite acute. What should you pay attention to when choosing a speech therapist?
- Education. A good speech therapist has a specialized education. That is, they must have a university diploma, certificates confirming additional speech therapy education. When you first meet, do not hesitate to ask a speech therapist about his or her education and ask to show the relevant diplomas and certificates. If there are no documents confirming the appropriate education, you should say goodbye right away so as not to waste time, money and the child’s trust. After all, the experience of unsuccessful sessions can complicate the further correction of the baby’s speech;
- Work experience. The previous work of a speech therapist with children of the appropriate age is important. This also needs to be carefully questioned. Find out what the selected specialist is doing now and was doing before. Perhaps he or she works in a children’s educational or medical institution, a correctional or developmental center. However, you may come across a young specialist who has theoretical knowledge but has not applied it in practice or has dealt with children of a different age or other problems. It is clear that sessions with an experienced speech therapist for children will bring more benefits and lead to the desired result faster. And this means saving money and time;
- Own methods of diagnostics and solutions of children’s speech therapy problems. You should also ask about them. The fact is that experienced specialists apply several generally accepted methods adapted for themselves. In this case, the speech therapist will tell you in detail about what and how he or she will do with the child. It is good when the speech therapist program varies, differing for children of different ages, temperaments and other characteristics. If you choose such a specialist, your child will enjoy a creative process and positive emotions. This means that the effectiveness of speech therapy sessions will be high;
- Speech therapist’s bag. Be sure to ask a question about what tools the specialist will use in his/her work. A professional uses a large set of interesting and useful gizmos: tools, cards, manuals, toys, books, mirrors and others. If a speech therapist uses any tools, be sure to ask about their disinfection. Shared instruments must be heat sterilized. It is ideal if the speech therapist autoclaves the probes by bringing them in craft bags and opening them with you before starting classes;
- Feedback and recommendations. The work of a professional can only be assessed by a professional. However, a person who has been doing his/her job for a long time will certainly have reviews from previous clients. They can be posted on specialized sites or written in a guest book, which every self-respecting specialist who works independently starts without fail. Ask for reviews. Even if there are no written ones, a speech therapist can give you contacts of mothers of children whom he or she helped to get rid of problems similar to yours.
After spending some time looking for a good specialist, you will be rewarded a hundredfold. Speech therapist lessons will become just like holiday for your child. He or she will wait for them and show remarkable results.