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Sunday, January 2, 2011

Grants for Speech Therapy

Grants for Children Who Need Speech Therapy

Giving children the tools that they need to speak or improve their speech can open up new opportunities and advance their social skills. However, speech pathology for children can quickly have an effect on a family's financial situation, as it may top off at $100 per hour. With children often needing more than one session per week, the costs can quickly rise, and many insurance companies limit the amount of money they provide for speech therapy. Thankfully, there are grants and other programs available for children who need speech therapy.

Speech sound disorders occur in approximately 8 to 9 percent of young children; by the first grade, 5 percent have noticeable problems with their speech, according to the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders (NIDCD).

Rehabilitation Act of 1973
According to the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, students with disabilities, including speech problems, may be qualified to receive federal financial assistance. Free appropriate public education qualifies all with disabilities in elementary and secondary education programs to be provided services by a school. If the school does not have a speech pathologist on staff, it must provide assistance according to the Act. Education services, including those for children with disabilities, must meet an individual student's needs in the same manner that a nondisabled student's needs are met. Under the Act, education and related services are provided at no cost to the family.

United HealthCare
The United HealthCare Children's Foundation provides grants not exceeding $5,000 for children younger than 16 in need of speech pathology. In order to qualify, the parent or guardian must meet specific income guidelines, live in the United States and have a commercial health plan.

United Way
The United Way operates local organizations throughout the United States and provides financial support for those who are in need of help with medical services, including speech rehabilitation. In order to be considered for assistance, you must apply through a local United Way chapter.

Scottish Rite
Scottish Rite clinics provide evaluation and treatment for speech language disorders and learning disabilities. The programs are provided regardless of a family's ability to pay for speech services for their child.

The majority of speech grants for children are provided directly to the provider. In some cases, funding will be made out to you or it will require an endorsement by you and the provider. If you are provided a grant specifically for speech therapy for your child, you cannot spend the funding in any other way or there may be legal ramifications.

In addition to grants, universities provide a helpful alternative for speech language pathology for children. Universities that offer speech pathology degrees often have clinics, so students can attain clinical hours. This can provide a free or low-cost option for your child to receive assistance with speech.

If you qualify based on your income, Medicaid and state health programs for children cover the costs of speech therapy for children.

Taken from eHow.com

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