Your Child's Speech-Language Pathology Appointment
Before your appointment
If your child has seen a specialist outside of CHOP, please send a copy before your visit:
- hearing tests
- current or previous Individualized Education Programs (IEP)/Individualized Family Service Plans (IFSP)
- neuropsychological or educational testing
- previous speech and language evaluation reports
- developmental evaluations
- additional relevant information
Day of appointment
Arrive at least 15 minutes prior to your appointment time to check-in. Please allow 90 minutes for the evaluation to be completed.
- If you are running late, call 800-551-5480 to determine if you need to reschedule.
- If you need to cancel or reschedule, call 800-551-5480. You may also be able to cancel the appointment via MyCHOP.
- It is preferable that siblings do not accompany your child to the appointment. This will help us obtain the best assessment of your child’s skills.
What to expect
A speech and language evaluation consists of a comprehensive assessment of your child’s ability to:
- understand language
- use language to communicate
- produce age-appropriate speech sounds
- use their voice to speak clearly and fluently
After the evaluation, the speech-language pathologist will give you information regarding your child’s speech and language abilities. We may provide medical, educational, and community resources to meet your child’s needs and ideas for home practice. If therapy is recommended, goals will be discussed. A report will be available in MyCHOP.
CHOP’s Speech and Language Department is primarily a diagnostic center, meaning that our primary focus is providing high quality, comprehensive evaluations. In cases where therapy at CHOP is recommended, we follow a short-term therapy model.
Not all children who are evaluated require or receive speech therapy at CHOP. Often, children are referred to their county program, school district, or another local community provider for ongoing treatment. CHOP does not provide long-term speech-language treatment.
If short-term speech-language therapy is recommended at CHOP, there may be a wait period between the initial evaluation and the start of weekly therapy services. This depends on the demand at each location. We appreciate your patience as we want to provide the highest quality of care.
Speech therapy activities are tailored to your child’s age, developmental level, interests, and needs. Additional activities for home practice are provided by your clinician. The family is required to participate in the therapy process for the best possible outcomes.
We are committed to creating an inclusive therapeutic environment. We strive to use pictures and materials that reflect the world we live in and the families we serve. We encourage you to share cultural considerations about which your clinician may not be aware to ensure your child's identity and culture is reflected in therapy materials used with them.
Coverage for your child’s speech and language evaluation or treatment is dependent upon your specific insurance plan’s coverage and benefits. It is essential that you call your insurance carrier to determine if anything is needed prior to the evaluation or to begin speech therapy. Your insurance plan may require:
- a referral, a prescription, a co-pay, a deductible, co-insurance, and /or pre-certification for a certain number of visits each year or for a specific period of time
- that you receive services at a provider other than CHOP (i.e., capitation)
- coverage to be “diagnosis driven,” which means that the evaluation may or may not be covered depending on your child’s diagnosis (e.g., language delay, articulation disorder, stuttering, etc.)
If CHOP speech therapy is recommended after the evaluation, our Financial Clearance team will verify your insurance and obtain pre-authorization if necessary. It is also recommended that you contact your insurance company and specifically ask about any plan exclusions related to speech therapy or certain diagnosis codes (provided by your therapist after the evaluation). You may be required to make a payment at the time of your visit.
All patients coming for speech therapy are required to have a prescription, even if their insurance does not require it. This prescription comes from your child’s pediatrician and must say, “Speech and language evaluate and treat.” Most prescriptions are now electronic, but some pediatricians may still write prescriptions on paper. The prescription can be faxed to 215-590-5461.