Your Child's Speech-Language Pathology Appointment
Before your appointment
After scheduling your child's appointment, please provide any hearing tests, current or previous Individualized Education Programs (IEP)/Individualized Family Service Plans (IFSP), neuropsychological or educational testing, any previous speech and language evaluation reports, developmental evaluations, or any additional relevant information.
Referral/prescription and insurance coverage
You may self-refer for a speech and language evaluation if you are having concerns for your child’s language, articulation, voice, or fluency skills. Some insurance companies require that you get a referral or a prescription from your child’s pediatrician.
Coverage for your child’s speech and language evaluation 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, such as a referral or prescription from your doctor. You should also ask if coverage of the evaluation is “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). You may be required to make a payment at the time of your visit. Learn more about billing and insurance.
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 the Clinic Secretary at 215-590-7462. She will contact your speech-language pathologist to determine whether you can be seen or will have to reschedule the appointment.
If you need to cancel or reschedule your child's appointment for any reason, call the Speech Intake Coordinators as soon as possible at 800-551-5480.
It is preferable that siblings do not accompany your child to the appointment. This will help us obtain the best attention for your child and assessment of his/her 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, articulate, and use his/her voice to speak clearly and fluently. Please allow 90 minutes for the evaluation to be completed.
At the end of the evaluation, you will be given information regarding your child’s speech and language abilities, appropriate medical, educational and community resources to meet your child’s needs, ideas for home practice, and recommendations and goals for therapy, if necessary.
Speech therapy may be recommended to help a child understand language, communicate effectively, and/or speak clearly. Not all children who are evaluated require or receive speech therapy at CHOP. Many children come to CHOP to get a thorough speech and language evaluation to better define difficulties they are experiencing and to get a comprehensive treatment plan. Some families opt to get annual speech and language evaluations to measure and track their child’s progress and needs over time, with recommendations to guide their communication program elsewhere, such as at school or closer to home. Treatment recommendations are made after the evaluation is completed and are individualized to meet your child’s needs.
There may be a wait period between the initial speech and language evaluation and initiation of weekly therapy services depending on the demand for services at each site. We follow a short-term medical therapy model, as we are primarily a diagnostic center and do not provide long-term treatment. We appreciate your patience and want to provide our families with the highest quality of care.
Speech therapy activities are tailored to your child’s age, developmental level, interests and needs.
Insurance coverage for speech therapy can be specific to each insurance plan and group. Call your insurance carrier to determine your plan benefits and eligibility for outpatient speech therapy. It is recommended that you specifically ask about any plan exclusions related to speech therapy or certain diagnosis codes (provided by your therapist after the evaluation).
Speech therapy may or may not be covered based on your child’s diagnosis and insurance plan. 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. Your insurance plan may require that you receive services at a provider other than CHOP (i.e., capitation). You may be required to make a payment at the time of your visit. Learn more about billing and insurance.
You need a referral or a prescription before you can start speech therapy. If your insurance plan requires a referral, you must get a referral from your child’s pediatrician. If your insurance plan requires a prescription OR does not require a referral, you must get prescription from your child’s pediatrician that says, “Speech and language evaluate and treat.” The prescription can be faxed to the clinic secretary at 215-590-5461. Most prescriptions are now electronic, but some pediatricians may still write prescriptions on paper. Your child will not be seen for speech therapy without a referral or a prescription.