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  • FAQs: Ask a Speech Therapist

    Frequently Asked Questions

    No, we do not need a doctors referral. However, your insurance my require a referral. The American Speech Language Hearing Association has deemed Speech Language Pathology an autonomous profession. This means you or anyone can self-refer. There are no gatekeepers to deal with. We do not require a physician order or insurance approval to provide assessments or therapy.

    However, in many diagnoses it is essential to coordinate with your physician; and as a routine practice, we may ask for physician oversight and a prescription can be obtained as needed. Many insurers require physician oversight as well. Be sure to check your benefits and the necessary reimbursement procedures by calling the number on the back of your insurance card.

    Let San Diego Speech Therapy be your expert of choice.
    Anytime a loved one is frustrated, embarrassed or concerned by the inability to communicate or swallow effectively, advice should be sought from an expert Speech/Language Pathologist. Ask questions and keep asking until you receive answers which satisfy you. Concern does not always mean there is a problem, but due to the interactive and dynamic natures of communication skills, swallowing skills and a person’s social and emotional well-being you cannot afford to wait.

    San Diego Speech Therapy–your SLP expert.
    There are a variety of funding options which will give you complete freedom to access care with any provider you choose. The funding options may include one or more of the following: cash, credit card, payment plan or reduced rate packages (please allow us to put together a proposal for you), medical savings account reimbursement, and more. Self-pay= Freedom of choice and options to choose from.
    Many employers include a Health Advocate service in your insurance plan. These are professionals who are there to walk you through the insurance claim process including any needed appeals, and in some cases they do the appeal paperwork for you if you supply the appropriate information. Be sure to check out your benefits. In the case of a denial, be sure you communicate your disappointment in the coverage limits of your insurance plan to your HR or benefits coordinator so they can make changes to the policy at renewal time. This will give you better options in the coming benefits year.
    A child of any age can be evaluated, from birth on. Some children are considered “at risk” for speech/language problems due to an underlying diagnosis. These children should be evaluated at the time of the diagnosis and monitored regularly per the Speech/Language Pathologist’s instructions. In addition to typical speech and oral-motor skills, there are known pre-speech behaviors which must occur before a child begins to speak. Some of these include babbling, jargon, turn taking, imitation, and other social-pragmatic skills. The earlier a child can be identified as needing support, the better the outcomes. Unfortunately, some pediatricians still advise a parent to “wait till 24 months” (when a child should have two-word sentences already well established). Let’s say you suspect your child is behind compared to his/her same-age play buddies at age 18 months. If you followed this advice (meanwhile ignoring your own gut feeling) and waited from 18 months till age 24 months–already 25% of their lifespan, or 6 months would have gone by. This is VALUABLE time lost in speech and language acquisition and brain development. Additionally, the longer a problem goes unidentified, the more the skills the child “should have” acquired compound. Speech and language growth is generally exponential-not linear.
    To regain the ability to swallow SAFELY is the goal for getting off a tube feeding.  Many people say “I can swallow fine” but unknowingly have a problem with food and liquids entering their lungs each time they eat or drink certain consistencies.  If you cannot swallow safely, you are at high risk for repeated (or even fatal) pneumonia and other respiratory complications.  If you cannot eat ENOUGH, you are at risk for malnutrition and related complications such as weakened immunity and non-healing skin wounds.  You will find our skills invaluable to you as you learn to protect your airway with a variety of foods and liquds needed to maintain nutrition and hydration.
    Yes!  We have defined the communication issues of many professionals who feel their career is being affected by their communication difficulties.  Examples include:  voice pitch and loudness problems, rate of speech problems, speech/articulation/enunciation problems, intonation/monotone problems, Non-Standard American English (SAE) accents, and more.
    An evaluation is designed to accomplish four things: 1.) Determine if a communication or swallowing problem exists, 2.) define the nature of the problem and the severity (which guides the treatment recommendations and referrals), 3.) provide a treatment plan and measurable goals, and 4.) to answer all of your questions. Your first best step is to consult our experts.