Frequently Asked Questions
Q: What insurance do you accept?
A: Each plan differs, but if your plan covers pediatric speech therapy I’m able to accept the following plans:
- Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Mexico (BCBSNM),
- BCBSNM Centennial (Medicaid),
- United HealthCare,
- True Health New Mexico (THNM), and
- New Mexico Health Connections (NMHC).
If you’re unsure whether your plan covers speech therapy then you can give your insurance company a call.
Please note I am not able to accept Aetna, Presbyterian, Cigna, and Molina plans.
Q: What is a Speech-Language Pathologist?
A: I’ve actually made a short video-blog on this subject – check it out here! A speech-language pathologist (SLP) is kind of like a “communication therapist.” Some SLPs also specialize in treating swallowing disorders, but all are trained to treat disorders related to communication such as expressive language disorder, phonological/articulation disorder, child-onset fluency disorder (stuttering), and Autism Spectrum Disorder.
Q: What’s the difference between “speech therapy” and “speech and language intervention”?
A: These terms can be used interchangeably and both refer to the support an SLP provides a client to increase his/her communication skills.
Q: What conditions do you treat?
A: Most of my experience is in treating pediatric communication disorders; this means I have spent most my career treating children who have difficulty saying their sounds, putting together sentences, understanding directions, and/or understanding and using social communication such as eye contact. I mostly help children who…
- …have difficulty with speech sounds so they say things like “tar” for car (Phonological Disorder/Articulation Disorder)
- …have difficulty putting sentences together so they say things like “Me can have that?” (Expressive Language Disorder)
- …have difficulty both putting sentences together and following directions (Receptive-Expressive Language Disorder)
- …have difficulty understanding and using social communication so they do things like placing adults’ hands on objects to request items or actions (Autism Spectrum Disorder or Social Communication Disorder)
- …have difficulty using a constant flow of speech so that they “stutter” (Child-Onset Fluency Disorder)
- …have difficulty speaking through their mouth or saying speech sounds subsequent to anatomical differences such as cleft palate
Q: How can I tell if a child needs speech therapy?
A: The only accurate way to answer this question is to consult directly with a speech-language pathologist. There are many factors to consider when deciding whether a child can benefit from some extra help to develop his/her communication skills. Most speech therapy clinics, including mine, offer free screenings to help answer this question. Another way to address this question is to complete a communication checklist; I’m currently developing a free checklist for this purpose!
Q: Your therapy looks like play – shouldn’t you be sitting at a table and doing drill activities?
A: While I have experience with a variety of therapeutic techniques, I prefer naturalistic activities. These activities mimic everyday activities and interactions (e.g., playing games, playing pretend, having a conversation). Not only are these activities fun for kids (who often don’t realize they’re working), but the kids are also more likely to use the skills they learn in their everyday lives (generalization).