Do you accept insurance?
Speech-Language Technologies is a Medicare and Medicaid provider.
Speech-Language Technologies will sometimes bill other insurance carriers as an out-of-network provider as a courtesy to our clients. In most cases, out-of-network clients will pay Speech-Language Technologies directly and will be provided a superbill for submission to their insurance carrier.
We do accept private pay clients. Please contact us to inquire about our availability and insurance policies.
Where are services provided?
We offer in-home therapy, as well as services and trainings via teletherapy*. In-home therapy allows clients to learn and practice skills in the environment where they will use them and with the people they communicate with daily.
*Please note that at this time, Medicaid and Medicare do not cover therapy via teletherapy.
How do I get started?
Our process is easy. We will begin with a phone consultation to determine if an evaluation is needed and if so, what type of evaluation is recommended. Following the consultation, we will schedule our first appointment in your home or via a secured online platform for teletherapy. Together, we will determine a plan of treatment, goals, and frequency of therapy for you or your child and family. Once therapy begins, we always encourage families and/or caregivers to be an active part of the therapy process, taking time to answer questions and provide education.
What is your cancellation policy?
We know people get sick and at times you have to cancel last minute! As per our cancellation policy, every client is allowed two cancellations without a 24-hour notice, per year. After that, you will be charged a $50 fee for canceling without 24 hours notice.
What is Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC)?
At its most basic level, AAC is anything that helps a person communicate when traditional spoken or written forms of communication don’t meet a person’s needs. AAC systems can range from "low-tech” or “soft-tech” to "high-tech" systems. "Low-tech" systems include the use of natural gestures, sign language or communication boards with pictures and/or words on it. “High tech” refers to electronic systems that are computerized and dynamic, such as iPads or other dedicated communication devices.
Who can use AAC?
Anyone! According to the National Joint Committee for the Communication of Persons with Severe Disabilities (NJC), "There are no prerequisites to use AAC. The currently accepted evidence in the literature suggests that no specific skills are prerequisite for successful use of AAC in the broadest sense. AAC is an intervention approach that can be the beginning of communication development for an individual." Everyone deserves a voice!
Who is AAC mostly used by?
In 1991 the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association estimated that there were more than 2 million individuals in the United States who were unable to communicate using speech or who had severe communication impairments. Disorders resulting in severe communication impairments include cerebral palsy, autism, apraxia, Down Syndrome, Rett Syndrome, and other developmental disorders. While some might only think of using AAC with "nonverbal" children, clinically, AAC has proven to be of great value to young children with emerging verbal skills as well as to children who are functionally nonspeaking (Scott, 1998).
Will AAC prevent speech from developing?
No. Research has shown that AAC does not inhibit the development of speech. "In fact, in some individuals with a variety of disorders including aphasia, apraxia, dysarthria, autism, and cognitive impairment, AAC has been shown to actually facilitate the development of speech" (Lloyd, Fuller, & Arvidson, 1997, p. 236).
Individuals using AAC devices will continue to be exposed to verbal language throughout their daily lives and in therapy. When appropriate, verbal expression goals will be part of the treatment plan.
What is the best kind of AAC system to use?
There is no ‘best’ type of AAC system. Each system has its own pros and cons; the most suitable one for an individual will depend on their abilities, needs and personal preferences. Many people have more than one AAC method and choose which to use depending on the listener and the particular situation.
At Speech Language Technologies, we work with clients to determine and trial appropriate AAC devices. Often, we begin with low-tech options and advance to high-tech devices.
What about individuals who cannot use their hands?
Many AAC devices require the use of one’s hands to press the buttons or switches for speech. However, that is not always the case. For individuals who cannot use or have limited use of their hands, other access methods can be used. For instance, eye gaze can be an excellent access method for individuals with Rett Syndrome, ALS, cerebral palsy, muscular dystrophy, spinal muscular atrophy, and spinal cord injuries, to be able to control the AAC device. These devices have cameras inside that pick-up light reflections from the user’s pupils and tracks where the user looks on the screen to select different buttons.
What is the process for obtaining an AAC device?
While the process can vary depending on the funding source, most individuals who are seeking an AAC device will need to complete a trial first. During the trial period, the AAC user, communication partners, parents, caregivers, and Speech-Language Pathologist will determine if they believe the device is the right fit. Once that is determined, the Speech-Language Pathologist will write a report detailing why the AAC device is medically necessary and submit that along with paperwork to the individual’s insurance company (if applicable) for funding. After approval, the device is shipped to the individual and then personalization and programming can begin.