June 16, 2009

Free Children's Services

Did you know that if you suspect that your child might have a developmental, speech, or any other type of disorder, there are centers in every state where you can receive FREE evaluations and help?

When my older son was two years old, we suspected that he might have a speech and language delay. Someone told me to contact our local Regional Center, which I did, and we received free testing. From there, they recommended speech therapy. I thought our options were limited to what was being offered through the school system (for free through the Regional Center). However, upon further research, I discovered that there are places called NPA's (Non Public Agencies) where you can also be approved to send your child. I found an amazing speech center in my area and requested that my son receive services there instead of at the school. Our request was approved, and he received speech therapy 2-3 times a week for over a year.

If I had not known about these services, we would have either not been able to get our son the help he needed, or been forced to pay out of our own pockets for help. Speech therapy sessions can range anywhere from $40-150 an hour.

For a list of California Regional Centers, visit this website. If your child is over 4 years of age, you can just contact your local school district for services as well. If you are outside of California, do some research to see if your state offers regional centers as well. If not, do an online search for "free speech therapy in [your state]" or "free testing for [your child's issue]". You may find the services you are needing for free!

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