Sunday, January 3, 2010

The economy, insurance and stuttering therapy-Hope this helps!!

Hi all-
Hope it is warmer in your neck of the woods. It is freezing in NY. I have gotten over 10 calls for stuttering therapy in the last 3 weeks so I wanted to clarify a few things about insurance and options for effective and realistic fluency therapy.

First, please visit (the stuttering foundation of america website) and click the link on insurance. This is very helpful and provides very useful information on stuttering for individuals and families.

First, stuttering for preschoolers might be covered by your local school district so contact them for an evaluation. Lidcombe is a wonderful and effective program. I modify it slightly and call it P.A.C.E. (please see I highly recommend it. Even if your school district does not cover it, it is worth trying to eliminate such a devastating disorder during the preschool years.

The insurance ICD code for stuttering is 307.0. Many insurance companies don't cover stuttering therapy and I find more lately. Many times they will pay for the initial evaluation but not therapy. Why? I don't know the exact reasos except they don't consider it a medical expense. If you call your insurance company, don't just ask if they cover speech therapy. Often they will say yes for 30 visits. You must specifically ask if stuttering therapy is covered. Please get a contact name and someting in writing. If you call a speech provider and ask if they take insurance, it does NOT mean stutering is covered!!! Every plan is different. You can sometimes fight a rejection by appealing it but all this takes time.

So what does one do in a tough economy? First let me say if you are motivated or your child is we can always set up an initial 3 month trial and see if therapy helps. Once it works, it might be easier to pay for. Also, receipts can be submitted to flexible spending accounts. The other options are inquiring about group therapy of to reduce costs. In general the more you practice, the sooner you can go on maintenance. I have several teens and adults who are coming now once every two or three weeks on a maintenance schedule. They are maintaining a realistic amount of fluency and appear satisfied as are there parents. They talk to others weekly to increase opportunites for practice. Sign up for practice groups with my practice. Sign up on my facebook page, The Long Island Stuttering Connection and connect with others who stutter. (If you are under 18, please ask your parents before signing up). It is vital to go to a speech pathologist who specializes in stuttering therapy. (referral list In the end, it will save you money. I have many clients who have seen less experienced therapists before me and in the end have spent more money.

Remember, efffective communication is important and vital. Look for my open house in s few weeks on Long Island, NY to receive more information on stuttering and see a wonderful screeing on an adult who stutters. If you are out of state, think about coming in for an intensive weekend or via webcam. I am here to help all parents and people who stutter. Lidcombe for preschoolers can definitely be provided for international parents and children as well. It has worked well.  Also, don't assume that just because you or your child has received therapy before and it wasn't effective that there is no hope.  There is LOTS of it!!!

No one knows the pain of stuttering and having to put money aside for therapy or having a family member out of work. It is tough!! Let's try and work together so I can help you. Sometimes it is hard to see the light at the end of the tunnel, but I am here to tell you the light can be so bright!! A happy and healthy New Year to all and thank you for everyone who has been following my blog.  I welcome and appreciate all comments.

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