Here is all the information you need to find the therapy services in Anne Arundel County and surrounding areas. Take a look at the options below and decide which is best.
1. THROUGH YOUR LOCAL SCHOOL SYSTEM
Here in Maryland, early intervention, child find and school age services are delivered for free through your local public school system and are county based. What that means is that whatever county you live in will be your servicing county. Early Intervention, also called Infants and Toddlers (I & T), is birth through 3; Child Find services are for children 3-5 years of age; and School age are children in Kindergarten though 12th grade. With services provided by the school system, the child's difficulties must be educationally impacting the child and their criteria for services is more stringent than qualifying for private therapy (see below). This may mean that a child with a mild impairment and/or one that is not educationally impacting them may not receive services. Please see this article for more information on this topic. The time line from referral for an evaluation until therapy begins is typically months as timelines/procedures are different for services through the public school system. Use this document as a guideline for the process in the state of Maryland. The school system team of educators/evaluators may also decide that a different tier of intervention, also called Response to Intervention, is implemented prior to initiating an evaluation to see if your child does or does not respond to these less intensive intervention measures, thus providing more or less support for an educational impact. Referral for services can be initiated by your child's current public school teacher. However, if your child is not currently enrolled in the public school system (i.e., infant/toddler, preschooler or a child that attends a private school) or if your child's teacher has not initiated a referral, a parent can initiate the process.
If, after the evaluation, your child is determined to have a disability with educational impact, services are delivered to meet your child's needs. For Early Intervention, services are typically held at home with the provider coming to you in your home or community. However, some districts have language enrichment classes much like a preschool program where your services can be delivered. With Child Find services, your child may be serviced at their daycare, home school or within their school day if they attend a county-provided preschool program. School aged children are serviced in their home school. If your child attends a private school, some services may be available at your child's school (must be within the county where you live) where a county-provided therapist comes to your child's school. You may also be given the option to receive services at your child's "home school." Each county has different programs and each child's needs are different so there is no uniformity to where and how services are delivered. Make sure to ask specific questions on how, when and where your child's services will be provided.
Contacts for Anne Arundel County and surrounding counties are listed blow:
2. PRIVATE SPEECH-LANGUAGE SERVICES
Another option for pursuing speech-language services is through private practices. Here at Strides Speech Therapy we fall under this option. Private practices may or may not be in network with your insurance company. We are in-network with some select commercial/state plans. However, if you use our services as an out-of-network provider, we can provide you with a "Superbill" that contains all applicable diagnosis and treatment codes for you to submit to your insurance company for reimbursement. If you choose to use an in-network provider with a company we do not participate with, we are happy to refer you to other practices that accept your insurance company. Keep in mind that insurance plans very greatly and some plans do not cover developmental services or only cover limited amounts of service. Please see this resource by the American Speech-Language Hearing Association (ASHA) regarding insurance plans and speech-language benefits. You may also reach out to us for guidance on contacting your insurance company and important questions to ask. If paying privately for services, there are options aside from "out of pocket" for acquiring the financial resources to do so.
3. LOCAL UNIVERSITY CLINICS
Maryland residents are lucky enough to have 3 local universities that provide Speech-Language Services at their clinics. Run by undergraduate and graduate students and supervised by licensed and certified Speech-Language Pathologists, these clinics are located on Campus. The programs are listed below.