I had such a response to my “6 Tips For Navigating Early Intervention Screening to Receive Speech Therapy,” that I thought I would do a follow-up blog based on some inquiries I got from parents. Some children did not qualify for early intervention services but parents are still concerned and want to pursue private speech therapy. “How do I find a good therapist in my area? I’m kind of lost,” wrote one parent and “I feel a bit relieved that someone could ‘hear’ me and understand the complexity of the process.” “It’s a daunting task, just to find a good reliable, professional therapist that we feel connected to.”
Here are some tips to finding a good speech therapist in your area.
- Ask your pediatrician. They should have a list of certified speech language pathologists in your area that they are comfortable referring you to. I have several pediatricians that I have a relationship with who refer patients to me. I send them a report after an evaluation so they are aware of my recommendations. Some ask me for advice on a patients or have asked for articulation and language norms so they can more accurately refer their patients for further testing.
- Check ASHA’s registry. The American-Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA) keeps a registry of certified speech therapists by area of the country.
- Contact local school speech therapist or district Special Education Coordinator’s office. Based on your child’s age (elementary, middle school, high school) contact the SLP at your neighborhood school and ask for recommendations for private therapists they have worked with.
- Ask nursery school teachers. I get referrals from nursery school teachers who often have a list of therapists their families have used and liked.
- Listen to parents, word of mouth. Many of the parents who call me have gotten my name from a family with whom I have worked. Other parents of children of similar ages are a great resource for finding a good therapist.