Frequently Asked Questions
What is a Speech-Language Pathologist?
A speech-language pathologist is a professional who specializes in working with individuals to improve their nonverbal and verbal communication skills. Depending on the area of deficit, speech therapy may focus on improving several different areas such as speech production, understanding language and expressing language, social skills, and feeding or swallowing.
The role of a speech-language pathologist is to identify, assess, and treat communication disorders both receptively and expressively. In pediatrics, a speech-language pathologist works to develop and maximize the child’s speech, language, and feeding skills in a motivating play setting with the goal of increasing their independence and ability to communicate.
What areas do Speech-Language Pathologists assess and treat?
Leah has experience assessing and treating children with:
• Articulation Disorders
• Phonological Disorders
• Clarity of Speech
• Expressive Language Delays/Disorders
• Receptive Language Delays/Disorders
• Oral Motor Delays
• Processing Difficulties
• Feeding and Swallowing Disorders
• Apraxia of Speech
• Phonemic Awareness/Literacy Skills
• Language Delay (“Late Talkers”)
• Auditory Processing Disorders
• Organization of Language
• Fluency Disorders (Stuttering)
• Voice Disorders
• Pragmatic Language (Social Language)
• Learning Disabilities
What is the difference between speech and language?
Many people think the terms ‘speech’ and ‘language’ are synonymous with one another; however, these two terms are quite different.
- Articulation: includes the sounds our tongue, teeth, and lips produce to form words.
- Voice: involves the quality, pitch, resonance, and intensity of one’s voice. People who have difficulties in reference to voice may sound monotone, harsh, breathy, or sing-song in nature. Other difficulties may arise due to polyps or nodules on the vocal cords or other harmful behaviors such as screaming or constant loud talking.
- Fluency: refers to the pattern or flow of one’s speech. This may be interrupted by repetitions of sounds or syllables, prolongation of sounds, pauses, or long hesitations.
Language: refers to the system of communication we use to convey messages to one another. It involves BOTH the understanding and production of information.
Language delays or disabilities may include:
- Having a slow rate of acquiring new vocabulary or understanding words
- Difficulty understanding oral directions
- Difficulty understanding abstract ideas
- Difficulty with syntax (word order)
- Difficulty with morphology (present/past tense)
- Problems engaging in social interactions and conversations with peers
Do you accept insurance reimbursement?
Leah is considered to be an out of network insurance provider.
How do I submit for out of network speech therapy reimbursement?
You will be provided with a billing invoice to submit to your insurance company on a monthly basis. This invoice will contain the necessary information needed to be considered for reimbursement. This information includes diagnosis and treatment codes, session dates/times, fees paid, and a description of services provided. It will also contain pertinent service provider information, including Leah’s tax ID and license number.
Does my child need speech therapy?
The determination of need for services is made by the referral source in conjunction with a review of evaluation findings and parent input. Each child and situation is unique. Most children receiving speech therapy come on a regular basis, usually one time each week, for a one-hour session over a period of time. The duration of treatment will be determined by your therapist with your input.
How do I initiate assessment and/or therapy?
Please either call or email Leah with any questions or concern you might have. You will then be able to schedule an initial consultation or assessment in order to determine if services are warranted.
Do you conduct in home assessments and treatment?
Yes! All assessments and speech sessions are conducted within the comfort of your own home!
What is the average therapy frequency and duration?
Average therapy frequency is one time each week for a duration of 60 minutes. This includes 45 minutes of direct treatment as well as 15 minutes to write notes, speak with parents regarding progress, and answer questions.
How long do your formal evaluations typically last?
Comprehensive and formal evaluations for younger children usually last between 2-3 hours and are typically performed during 1 visit. Comprehensive assessments for older school age children may last several more hours, and they are usually broken down into 2 sessions over a period of several days to a week. All assessments are highly individualized and vary based on the child’s specific needs.
What can I expect as a result of my child’s speech language assessment?
Two weeks subsequent to the last assessment date you will receive a comprehensive speech/language report detailing your child’s performance on administered formal and informal testing. It will contain performance scores, a detailed descriptive summary of performance strengths and weaknesses, impressions, and recommendations.
What cities and towns do you typically provide speech therapy in?
Leah predominantly provides speech and language therapy in Northern Bergen County and the immediate surrounding towns.
How would you determine when my child is ready to be discharged from therapy services?
Client progress is charted on an ongoing basis. Frequent reassessments of deficit areas are administered during the course of treatment. Therapy duration varies greatly based on the diagnosis and severity of the speech/language impairment.