If you suspect that your child has a speech and/or language delay, there are few options available to have him/her assessed (please see my Developmental Milestones page to review what your child should be able to do at their age). Research shows that the earlier intervention occurs, the better the outcome. Here are the most common ways to receive a speech and language evaluation and therapy (if needed) for your child.
- School District. If your child is 2 ½ or older, contact your local school district. You can call the main district office, or your neighborhood elementary school, and ask for information regarding having your 2 year old screened and evaluated for special education services. If you are concerned in other areas besides speech and language, let them know, and they will most likely do a comprehensive screening and/or assessment.
- State. You can also apply for DDD (Division of Developmental Disabilities) services through the state of Arizona any time after your child is born if you suspect delays or special needs. Go to their website and click “Apply” to fill out the application. Mention any and all areas of concern that you have with your child’s development. https://www.azdes.gov/developmental_disabilities/
- Private Practice Clinicians. Depending on the severity of your child’s delay or impairment, you may or may not qualify through the school district or the state. Sometimes you qualify for one but not both; it varies depending on your child, the school district, and the state guidelines for special education. If you do not qualify, or even if you do, you may choose to seek out a speech-language pathologist (SLP) through a clinic or private practice. Often your insurance will help cover the cost of this.