Parents should know speech options

Published 10:33 am Tuesday, June 25, 2013

I would like to make a comment on your article “Pathologists to give speech-language presentation” (June 15) about the two speech language pathologists from the Mayo Clinic Health System in Austin, which was given at the Senior Center in Austin.

I am sure that the two SLP’s gave great information about speech therapy for seniors. I just want to point out to your readers something about speech therapy for children. These days, even families with seemingly good employer-based health insurance find that private speech therapy for children is inadequate; needless to say, the cost of private speech therapy is out of reach to the many families without any health insurance. After reading your article about speech therapy options for seniors, I want to point out to your readers that every child in the U.S. has the right to free speech therapy, as has been part of 40 year-old federal legislation.

Every type of speech problem is covered in this right to free speech therapy, which can begin as early as preschool and run through high school. The website of The Stuttering Foundation ( offers a brochure titled “Special Education Law and Children Who Stutter” that explains to parents this amazing benefit of free speech therapy for children with any type of speech problem. The website of this nonprofit organization also provides many free resources for people who stutter of all ages.

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It is a shame that the U.S. has the best policy in the world for helping kids with speech problems and yet few people know about it. More kids could be helped if this speech therapy were more publicized.

Edward S. Herrington, Longmeadow, Mass.