Why You Should Consider Online Speech Therapy if You Live in TexasLeanne Sherred, M.S., CCC-SLP
From the unmatched beauty of the Hill Country, to its amazing cultural destinations and delicious breakfast tacos, there are many reasons Expressable is proud to call Texas our home.
Unfortunately, however, there are still too many Texans unable to access high-quality speech therapy services. That’s why we started an online speech therapy practice--to give families access to exceptional therapy without breaking the bank.
If you're looking for speech therapy in Texas, here are the top 5 reasons to consider online speech therapy:
1 Lack of state funding
Everything is bigger in Texas--except the amount of funding the state allocates for residents with special needs. In fact, Texas spends far less on speech therapy than pretty much any other state. According to a 2017 study by the University of Colorado, Texas ranks 48 out of 50 in per capita spending on assistance for residents with special needs.
This means that many Texas residents have to wait for critically needed services. A recent report in 2019 found that over 155,000 Texans with intellectual disabilities have spent up to 10 years waiting for state funding. This is particularly relevant for children with speech therapy needs, as research has shown that earlier interventions lead to better outcomes.
2 Rocky history for special education in Texas public schools
Many schools throughout the country offer speech therapy services as part of their educational curriculum. Which makes complete sense: difficulty communicating can affect a child’s social, emotional, and academic development.
Unfortunately, back in 2016 the Houston Chronicle reported that the Texas Education Agency had capped the percentage of children that would be found eligible for special education services at 8.5% for over a decade starting in 2004.
They were accused of violating the Individual with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) of 1975, which established that every child in the United States was entitled to a free and appropriate public education.
Since these revelations, Texas has continued to struggle. For four straight years in a row, the U.S. Department of Special Education found that Texas “needs assistance” complying with the federal law to provide special education services to children with disabilities.
This means that tens of thousands of Texas children may have been denied (and continue to be denied) special education services, including speech therapy, that they would otherwise be eligible for if they resided in a different state.
3 The high cost of out-of-pocket speech therapy
With the state’s lack of funding and poor track record providing adequate therapy in schools, many families are forced to seek therapy from a private clinic. This too has many drawbacks, as paying out-of-pocket for therapy can cost anywhere from $100-$250 per session depending on where you live in Texas. It's completely unsustainable for the average family.
Online speech therapy can be a lifeline to families struggling to afford traditional speech therapy. Online speech therapy often costs less, since these providers don’t have to spend money on things like rental space, utilities, and travel costs. All these savings can be passed on to the clients.
4 A large rural population
It can be incredibly difficult for people living in rural areas to access adequate healthcare services, including speech therapy. You can imagine this could be particularly relevant for a state like Texas, where 96.6% of land area is considered rural.
There are over 3 million Texans living in rural areas who may struggle to access quality speech therapy services. Those living in remote areas may have to commute hours to reach the closest clinic. Worst of all, the majority of clinics are only open from regular 9-5 business hours, which can make attending sessions nearly impossible.
Online speech therapy providers like Expressable solve this challenge. All you need to access an experienced and licensed speech therapist is access to the internet.
5 Congested cities riddled with traffic
Who wants to wait in traffic? Yet, Texans who live in cities are well acquainted with time lost behind the wheel. All of Texas’s largest cities are ranked to have some of the longest commutes in the U.S.
Getting yourself or a child to a speech therapy clinic can be difficult to fit alongside a full workday, long commutes, bad weather, school, sports practice, and everything else that can get in the way.
It’s a lot easier to fit online speech therapy into your schedule when you can attend sessions from your house. Often providers can offer more flexible hours and can better accommodate rescheduling. That’s why more and more families everyday are choosing to receive online speech therapy with services like Expressable.
How can Expressable help?
Speech therapy with Expressable is just like traditional therapy, but sessions are administered online with modern video conferencing software that our clients can access from the convenience of their home. Expressable can offer incredible therapy at one-fifth the price because our therapists focus on serving families instead of dealing with long commutes, administrative tasks, and the burden of insurance overhead.
Find out if Expressable is right for you. Schedule a free consultation with one of our licensed therapists.