Speech Therapy is a topic that often becomes a consideration and a need for parents of young kids. Language is the basis as to how we relate to one another, think, speak, listen, and learn. It’s intertwined with so much that we do, and it’s imperative that children have a good language structure to function well in life. A Speech Language Pathologist (SLP) can help!
Common issues Speech Pathologists address in children include the following:
- late onset of speech, not reaching baby/toddler milestones
- articulation-speech sound clarity
- speech fluency-stuttering or cluttering (rapid, unclear, disorganized speech)
- language use-using age appropriate/coherent language structure when speaking
- comprehension-understanding/processing what’s being said
- feeding and swallowing difficulties
- executive function-higher level thinking, planning and organizing thoughts/language
- predisposition or diagnosis of a condition known to cause speech, language or feeding problems such as: Autism Spectrum Disorder, hearing loss, and Down Syndrome
Do you have concerns for your child? The good news is that you can receive free services if your child qualifies! Early intervention teams in your area offer services for birth to age 3. Additionally, the public school system offers speech services at no cost for children 3+ if they qualify. These services are funded through public health and education systems. There are also local SLP clinics you can utilize. Most insurances and Medicaid will help cover at least part of evaluation and treatment. Most providers also have reduced rates for those without coverage or those who’ve exhausted insurance coverage for therapy.
What should you do next? For young children, birth to age 3, call Rainbows United (Sedgwick, Butler, or Sumner Counties) and request an evaluation. If you are out of this area, internet search for your local early intervention provider.
For ages 3-5, call your neighborhood school and ask about setting up an evaluation for speech-language services. They provide services on a walk in basis for PreK students who qualify. If your child is in school, ask your child’s teacher about checking with the school SLP, or call the office. If your child is homeschooled or at a private school, you can also utilize SLP services! Call your neighborhood public school for more information. Many private schools also have an SLP who provides services on an insurance-based system.
Finally, you can also look into local speech therapy clinics in the area. Here is a list of Wichita area locations:
Bilingual Speech Therapy of Kansas LLC
Crafty Speech Therapy
Erin is Hope
Every Child’s Voice
Rainbows United (Infant & Toddler Services)
Sedgwick Co: 316-945-7117
Butler Co: 316-320-1342
Speech, Swallowing, and Voice
If you have concerns, be proactive by reaching out for help. There’s plenty of support in our area!