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Anyone tried getting speech from school district in TN?


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We are not trying to get speech therapy through the schools, but we are trying to get some of that money that is supposedly available to pay for a bit of the private therapy. We have a therapist that we really like and we are not about to change to one of the school's therapists. There is supposed to be funding available to help offset the costs, but I have only jumped through a couple of the hoops so far and have many, many more hopes to jump through before I even get my name in the hat. And then there is apparently no guarantee that the funding will even be there.


I heard one wild story from a homeschool mom about how they pursued the school's counseling and somehow ended up with a very stressed out therapist who missed a few sessions and then one day just looked at the mom and said "I just don't have time for this." and left! And then I heard another mom, same school district but zoned for a different school, who had a great public school therapist and everything from evaluation to completion of therapy was smooth and happy. Go figure.


We have insurance and only pay a copay. I would not even be pursuing it except that we now have two children in speech therapy and that $20 copay per visit for two kids is wiping out our medical savings very, very fast!

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Let me know how it goes about trying to get funding. My husband and I over the years have both worked for several good companies with good insurance plans. But, none of them would cover speech therapy, unless it was a curable or temporary condition related to a curable developmental issue or an accident. In other words, if you have any kind of what can be determined as permanent language issues, they will not even pay at all. Hard to believe. I would understand if they would even put a annual cap on it and would gladly take monthly "consults" which is what we did before. Speech therapy at Vanderbilt's Bill Wilkerson is well over 125.00 an hour now, so we went to half hour monthly consults and was given a "home plan" to work through that month and would come in for a quick assessment and given new plans. But, we quit that several years ago.


The odd thing here in Nashville, is we went through several private therapists, good ones, because most of them left to work for the school distirct because of better pay, better hours, and usually summers off. Better for their family life. So, overall, as terrible as Metro Schools are academically, I've always heard we generally have pretty good services for speech and OT.


Thanks for sharing and keep me posted ~ Debbie in Nashville

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I don't know about TN specifically, but most school districts are very good about providing speech therapy services to children. I think it would be well worth calling and setting up an evaluation with the school. Most states will provide speech services for homeschooled children. The big exception I know of is Maryland.


We got speech therapy in MN through the school system, and it was very helpful. Since they didn't provide speech services during the summer, they gave us a list of therapists if we wanted to do private therapy during the summer. We ended up using a school therapist who worked out of her home. This was *much* less expensive than going to a clinic. ($30 an hour, but this was about 8 years ago. At that time clinic therapy was running about $60 an hour.)


Another option is to find a university that has a speech pathology department. They need to have students work with children as part of their training, so you can often get services for very little money this way. The students are heavily supervised by qualified therapists, so the quality of therapy tends to be very good. Some universities run year-round clinics. Others work individually with schools or families. It's worth a few phone calls if you have a university in your area.

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