Can I Do It?

Hospital settings: Most children’s hospitals provide speech therapy services through the child’s insurance. This is weekly or biweekly one-on-one therapy or small group, and continues for a set number of weeks. This is generally done with a referral from the child’s physician.

Public school settings: If the child has been tested by the public school and determined to need speech therapy services, the child is brought to the school one day a week for about an hour for this service, usually in a small group setting. This method carries the most risk to parents, because of the involvement in a government program.

Private clinics:

• There are many speech therapists who work privately with students. They will see a child once or twice a week, and always in a one-on-one setting. They regularly test to see if services are still required. Parents take the child to the setting, and are responsible for payment. Local home school support groups are the best source of information about good speech therapists in your area.

• Scottish Rites Speech and Language Clinic offers free testing and language services to qualified applicants.

Home settings

• The video tape and manual, Straight Talk by speech pathologist Marisa Lapish is available for home school families. (Available at www.nathhan.com.) It contains daily lessons that the parents can implement at home to help their child with speech issues in both articulation and speech delay.

• The Listening Program, a home program designed to help children hear frequencies they did not hear before, improves both speech and auditory processing disorders. (Available at www.advancedbrain.com.)

• Mouth Madness: Oral Motor Activities for Children by Aby Catherine Orr

• Earobics is a computer-based program to improve auditory memory and sound discrimination and is very inexpensive.

OCCUPATIONAL THERAPY OR PHYSICAL THERAPY

Hospital settings: If your child’s physician is made aware of your child’s need for occupational therapy for gross or fine motor development or physical therapy, a referral can be made for this therapy to take place at your local hospital, if the services are available there. This is often paid for in part by your insurance company.

Public school setting: If you have had your child tested through the public school, then they will provide the services. These are generally provided only once a week and you will need to bring your child to the school to receive the services. This is inexpensive, but does come with some risk of involvement with a government agency.

Private clinic: If you suspect that your child would benefit from occupational or physical therapy intervention (very common with autism, and very special needs), you can explore the services provided in your community by calling the clinics listed in the phone book, checking with your support group , or asking your child’s physician.

Home settings

• It is possible that after watching several therapy sessions with your child, you may feel confident continuing these same activities at home, if your child is cooperative. Some parents also pay for the therapist to come into the home. For private therapists who are stay-at-home moms, working just a few extra hours a week, this works very well, and they will train you to work with your own child. You can also inquire at a private clinic, if an occupational assistant could come into your home and work with your child. That is generally less expensive.

• Interactive Metronome has home programs that are similar to the ones used by occupational therapists used in clinical settings.

VISION THERAPY

Private clinics: If you suspect that your child has a visual tracking problem, you can have your child screened by a developmental optometrist. If vision therapy is recommended, you can take them to the optometrist’s office for weekly or biweekly visits, and continue the exercises at home.

Home setting:

• Some vision therapy offices will show the parents how to do the exercises at home, eliminating the need to come to the office for continued therapy. This is far less expensive. Other parents have found that if they do the exercises and retraining in brain integration therapy, there is much less need for vision therapy services.

• HTS (Home Therapy Systems) is a computerized program that helps reduce symptoms of eyestrain. For those who don’t have the time or finances for in-office vision therapy.

• PTS (Perceptual Therapy Systems), is a home-based computer therapy program to improve visual processing

APPLIED BEHAVIORAL ANALYSIS THERAPY

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