How to Help Your Child Develop a Strong Vocabulary

How to Help Your Child Develop a Strong Vocabulary

Are you looking to help your child improve their vocabulary, but aren’t sure where to begin?

Helping your child build their vocabulary is one of the most worthwhile things you can do for them. Not only will a strong vocabulary help them in school, but it will also help them in everyday life.

A strong vocabulary helps foster communication, understanding, and critical thinking, both inside and outside the classroom.

And, the great news is that helping your child improve their vocabulary can be relatively easy and fun–if you know how to do it.

So, where do you start?

Read on to learn how to help your child develop a strong vocabulary.

Use “Grown Up” Words When Conversing With Your Child

Too many parents fall into the habit of talking to their child like they’re a baby. But, guess what, the more you talk down to your child, the less likely they are to develop a strong vocabulary.

Of course, you want your child to understand what you are saying. But, that doesn’t mean you can’t sprinkle in a few “grown-up words” into your conversations.

From now on, when you speak to your child, use some words that you would use in a conversation with an adult. After you use a big word, be sure to pause and see if your child needs clarification.

The more you use grown-up words in your conversations, the stronger their vocabulary will become.

Slow and Steady

When introducing new vocabulary to your child, slow and steady wins the race.

If you try to introduce them to 20 new words a day, they are never going to remember them. Instead, focus on helping them learn around 5 new words per week.

Or, you can think of it as one word a day for each weekday, and then the weekend can serve as a “review” time for their new words.

Multiple Exposure

It is also important to note that your child will need to hear a word more than one time in order to remember it.

In general, a child will need to hear a new word 4 to 12 times before they can add it to their vocabulary.

Therefore, when you teach your child a new word, make a mental note and try to incorporate the word into conversation throughout the week. And, make sure you aren’t the only one saying the word to them.

If there are other family members in your household, encourage them to use this new word around your child as well.

Reading, Reading, and Reading

It should come as no surprise that reading is the best way to help your child develop a strong vocabulary.

As often as you can, read books with your child. When your child comes to a word that they don’t know, give them a definition of it that they will understand, and then move on.

It’s important to avoid having a big pause over the word, as this will disrupt the flow of their reading, and it can make a fun activity feel like a chore. So, continue on with the story and them come back to the word at the end.

If your child is too young to read full stories, start by reading aloud to them. This can be just as effective in helping them develop their vocabulary.

Also, it is very important that you allow your child to choose the books you read together. Learning new words will be most effective if the child has an interest in the topic. Plus, allowing your child to choose their own books will help them develop a love for reading that they can carry through their whole life.

That being said, you should also encourage your child to pick out books that are challenging for them. Picking books that are slightly above their reading level will make for more opportunities to learn new words.

And lastly, make sure you interact with your child when you read together. Don’t simply read the story and be done with it. In order to make reading a more interactive experience and make sure they comprehend the storyyou can:

  • Ask your child about the pictures on the page
  • Allow your child to turn the pages
  • Ask them what they thought of the story when you’re done reading it
  • Try to connect the story to their own life
  • Ask the child questions about the different characters

By reading every day, you will help your child take their vocabulary to new levels.

Play Games

Playing games is one of the best (and most fun) ways to help your child develop a strong vocabulary.

Word games you can play with your child include:

  • Scrabble
  • Bananagrams
  • Boggle
  • Hangman
  • Apples to Apples
  • Word Stack

You can also print off crossword puzzles and word finds on the internet for your child. There are even phone apps that can help your child learn new words.

Take Them to New Places

Taking your child to a new place gives you an excellent opportunity to expose them to new vocabulary words.

Every time you go to a new place, talk about what you see and what you experience. Discussing your new surroundings will help your child learn new words that they wouldn’t learn at home or at school.

Different places you can take your child to learn new words include zoos, museums, aquariums, parks, restaurants, and even grocery stores!

When you are in a new place, try to bring certain objects that they may be unfamiliar with to their attention in order to stimulate conversation.

Relate New Words to Known Words

When trying to teach your child new words, one of the best ways to help them learn is to relate the new word to a known word.

This way, they can make an association with the word in their brain that will help the word stick.

For example, let’s say your child knows the word fruit and they know the word apple. Knowing these words can help them learn other fruit-related words like grapes, peaches, or limes.

Or, let’s say your child knows the word mad. This can help them learn the word upset or angry.

Are You Ready to Help Your Child Develop a Strong Vocabulary?

As you can see, there are many fun and easy ways to help your child develop a strong vocabulary.

If you have any questions about the techniques listed in this article, please let us know in the comments below.

And, if your child has a language disorder, click here to learn how online speech therapy can help.

How to Help a Child With ADHD Succeed in School

How to Help a Child With ADHD Succeed in School

When it comes to children with ADHD, school can be a struggle. It’s hard for them to focus and learn but there are ways that you can help them if you’re a teacher.

One of the best things is being compassionate but that’s not the end of what you can do. It’s all about morphing your classroom into a place that can stimulate their learning and allow them to thrive. If you’re not sure how to do this, then just talk to the child in question.

In this article, we’re going to go over more on how to help a child with ADHD so you can ensure that none of your students are left behind.

1. Create a Reward and Consequences System

You should work closely with a child’s parent to develop a reward and consequences system for the child. Children with ADHD often have problems with thinking about future rewards vs. consequences so the best way to go about this is a goal chart.

It can be a notebook with the child’s goals for the day with multiple checkpoints like get up and start another task within a few minutes of being told. When they’ve met a certain amount of goals for the week, they can have a reward. It gives them something to focus on and look forward to.

2. Focus on Planning and Organization

A lot of children with ADHD have problems with basic organization which can cause them to not judge the time they have left to work on a project very well. This can lead to them to not turning in assignments on time. If this is an issue it’s time to work with the parents to come up with a system.

Come up with certain expectations and make those expectations known. Put their assignments on a system that will promote organization. It’s very important that this system is implemented at home and at school or else it won’t stick.

3. Reduce the Amount of Homework

Speaking of assignments, homework is a huge struggle for children with ADHD. If you pile it on during the week, you’re setting them up for failure because there is a good chance they won’t be able to get it all done.

It’s known that a normal child should spend 10 minutes on homework a night depending on their grade level. For example, if the child is in second grade, then they spend 20 minutes on homework each night. You can’t hold a child with ADHD to these same standards.

Instead, offer these children alternative assignments that play more to the child’s strengths. So, instead of making them do an oral presentation or a paper allow them to do something more creative or won’t take as much time like a poster or shoebox display.

4. Have Realistic Expectations of the Child

Again, you can’t hold a child with ADHD to the same standards you would hold children without. The more stressed these children feel towards their academic lives, the worst they’re going to perform.

While it’s ideal for every child to make straight As and Bs it’s going to be a struggle for these children to do that without your help. It’s possible though, but it’s going to take work. You have to have reasonable expectations for them instead of trying to mold them into what the other children in your classroom are.

5. Limit Distractions

As you probably know children with ADHD are very easily distracted. To help the child succeed, you’ll need to limit distractions in the classroom. The best way to do it is to allow the child to wear things to cancel out the noise like headphones during tests.

You can allow the child to face a blank wall while they take tests, but make sure you do it in a way that doesn’t make them feel like they are being punished.

6. Use Novelty to Engage Curiosity

If you notice the child’s attention dropping, do something bazar and out there to help them realign their focus. This could include doing a funny dance or putting googly eyes on the back of your head and walking backward.

You can create a comfy place in your classroom that can allow the child to grab hold of their focus like beanbag chairs. Anything to break up the monotony.

7. Plan Transitions in Advance

Children with ADHD have problems adjusting to sudden change. This is why it’s important that you don’t just spring sudden transitions on them. Partner up with the child to plan these transitions in advance.

This advanced planning will make the child more comfortable and allow them to make adjustments a lot easier.

8. Simplify Instructions

It’s a good idea to simplify your instructions for children with ADHD. Give them their assignment instructions in convenient steps rather than throwing all of it on them at once.

You can also give the assignments to them in fun and creative ways like through dance or charts.

How to Help a Child with ADHD Succeed

A child with ADHD to succeeding all starts with a good teacher who can pave the way. You have to adjust your curriculum to get the information to them in fun and creative ways and allow them to do their tests in a way in which will minimalize distractions. Keep in mind that you can’t expect them to do their homework in the same way a child without ADHD would.

Use these steps on how to help a child with ADHD to give someone deserving a bright future.

Every once in a while children with ADHD have issues in other areas of learning which cause them to need speech therapy. If this sounds like something one of your children need, go here for a free consultation.

Mastering Reading for Academic and Life Success, online speech therapy

Read to Succeed: Mastering Reading for Academic and Life Success

“There is no such thing as a child who hates to read; there are only children who have not found the right book. “

—Frank Serafini, author

 

Kids generally learn to read until third grade. After third grade, they read to learn.

Reading is the basis of learning and the benefits are many. On a practical level, reading helps us navigate life. Following recipes, taking medications and obeying written traffic signs all require the ability to literally read and understand what we are seeing. On a more cerebral level, reading advances our mind, teaches us language skills, expands our vocabulary, builds our listening skills and develops our imagination and creativity.

Now just imagine a child who is experiencing difficulty reading.

Research has proven that struggling with reading is not a sign of a lack of intelligence. Nor should children who be labeled as lazy or unmotivated. Often, they have just fallen through the cracks. Sometimes it is simply a matter of finding the right approach.

 

“Once you learn to read, you will be forever free.”

—Frederick Douglass, escaped slave, activist and abolitionist leader

 

Literacy extends to all academic areas, including math, where understanding the word problems are as essential as computing the correct numerical answer.

Difficulty reading not only affects academic abilities but also self-esteem. When reading skills are deficient, grades may suffer despite average or above average intelligence and self-confidence can go right down the tubes.

Our Reading Skills Mastery Program

has been developed to address grade-specific reading (literacy) skills and strategies. Our therapists are trained to assess each student and identify the issues before implementing a monthly individualized program tailored to the age of the child, the amount of intervention required, and the goals set in the initial session. Each session is 45 minutes with a minimum of three sessions per week.

 

From helping children acquire and master basic reading and writing skills to teaching compensatory strategies, decoding skills, essay writing and note taking, the Great Speech Reading Skills Mastery Program focuses on identifying missing skill sets and creating a targeted program using the check list below.

Literacy Skills:

  • Recognition and understanding of letters and letter sounds
  • Reading comprehension
  • Reading accuracy and fluency Recognition and use of letters and letters sounds
  • Learning and application of phonics rules
  • Automatic recognition and reading of sight words
  • Word attack skills (how to read an unfamiliar word)
  • Word study (root, suffix, etc.)
  • Reading speed and accuracy

Writing Skills:

  • Handwriting or typing of letters
  • Learning and applying spelling rules and patterns
  • Learning different writing styles and purposes (e.g., persuasive, descriptive, etc.)
  • Using various aids when writing (e.g., graphic organizers)
  • Learning and applying planning/organization strategies (e.g., outline, brainstorm, timelines, etc.)

Vocabulary Skills:

  • Definitions
  • Word Relationships (compound words, antonyms, synonyms)
  • Contextual Word Lists
  • Derivational Word Lists
  • Semantic Mapping and Feature Analysis

 

“To learn to read is to light a fire; every syllable that is spelled out is a spark.”

 – Victor Hugo, French poet and novelist

Lighting the fire and keeping the spark alive is one of our areas of expertise. Word power is brain power and has been linked to improved health, socioeconomic status and creativity.  We are proud of the success of those who have enrolled in our Reading Skills Mastery Program and would love to provide services to those who are experiencing academic difficulties due to poor or limited reading skills.

Request a complimentary screening today and ask how we can help!

back to school success 3

Six Great Tips for Parents to Promote Back-To-School Success

My children have never had issues transitioning from school to summer vacation. Neither have any of my clients.

We all naturally celebrate summer by changing our routine. Camp replaces school, vacations become the norm and homework becomes a distant memory.

Until the first official back-to-school notice arrives.

It’s a transition for everyone, both mentally and physically, no matter how many times you do it.

The one thing I have learned over the course of my career, as a mom, speech therapist and founder of Great Speech, is that organization is the key.

Most of us are not born organizers. Rather, organization is an acquired skill requiring ongoing nurturing by the adults in the family.

The benefits are numerous. Organization breeds focus, productivity, efficiency and academic success. It helps us set goals, prioritize tasks and meet deadlines. Ultimately, being organized is an important tool in reducing anxiety and promoting self-confidence.

While the stakes are higher as we grow older, the importance of organization is crucial even in preschool. There are parent consent forms and assignments to bring home and then returned with a signature. I recently visited a three-year old class where there was a visual chart outlining the morning sequencing routine: hang up your coat and backpack, empty out your communication folder, sign in, do your daily job and say good morning to the teacher.

Task sequencing is an important organizational tool.

In elementary school, you may not only have to write down the homework assignment, but also bring home the appropriate books, complete the assignment and put it somewhere in your backpack where you can find it upon request.

Organization begins at home. The more organized you are, the better the transition. Understandably, this puts a lot of pressure on you as parents, but our role in setting the tone for the school year is crucial.

Here are my three favorite strategies to facilitate the back-to-school process:           

·       Create a routine and ease into it: Involve all family members into creating the schedule for school as well as the transition routine. Use an app or large calendar to map out the daily, weekly and monthly schedules to create a realistic routine. If bedtime has been lax, start working on a routine. If TV time has been unlimited, start cutting back to realistic school levels.

·       Promote organization through conversation: Most people think of organizing as the physical act of putting things in the right place. But organizing is also a mental process and a great way to encourage organized behavior is through conversation. Taking the time to talk about what you did today and what you plan to do tomorrow is a way to teach sequencing skills and demonstrate how what you do today impacts your plan for tomorrow. Dinner time is the perfect venue for these type of family conversations.

·       Move from organization to executive functioning: While regular conversations focusing on planning promotes organized thinking, taking it to the next level will promote executive functioninga set of essential mental skills are critical for academic success, play a key role in social interaction and impact both oral and written communication.

Wondering how to promote organization and executive functioning skills. Here are three of my favorite starter tips:

  • Designate a quiet, neat, clutter-free area for homework with easy access to all school-related supplies. Identify a centrally located place for backpacks to avoid the last minute morning rush.
  • Make “organizing the backpack” part of the nighttime routine. You can either do it together or have your child do it under your watchful eye. The ultimate goal is for them to eventually do it regularly on their own with a thorough cleaning every Sunday. I still clean out my purse every Sunday night, a remnant from my childhood routine.
  • Shop together for school supplies that are color-coded. Visual cues are super-helpful for executive functioning and especially for organizing preschool kids.

Looking for other GREAT Speech tips? Download our eBook or email us about our Executive Functioning Training program.

 

two boys reading (1)

What Kids Love About Summer: Summer Reading (Said No One Ever) and Other Language-Promoting Tips You’ll Love!

Ask my children to name the two most anticipated words of the school year and they will unanimously say: Summer vacation

And the two most dreaded words: Summer Reading

The end of the school year and the beginning of summer vacation is a juxtaposition of extremes.  There is no transition from the rigorous routine of early morning wake up times, breakfast and carpools and after school activities, homework and bedtime to our summer break.

With the first day of vacation, those time sensitive pressures suddenly end. There are still carpools for day camp and a semblance of a routine. But with the extra hours of sunlight and lack of test schedules, the pressure is off.

Except for summer reading.

My children bemoan the dreaded summer reading list. As an experienced speech therapist, I understand the value.

Reading over the summer is incredibly important for students and their academic achievement.

The research is clear that children who don’t read during the summer can lose up to three months of reading progress and that loss has a cumulative, long-term effect. 

The same is true for speech therapy.

Think about it. You diligently schedule speech therapy appointments during the school year and the momentum and consistency are huge factors in maximizing progress. And then summer vacation comes, and our school year routine comes to a halt.

But your child’s need for language development does not end with the school year. Working on children’s speech and language progress is a year-round priority. At a minimum, the goal of summer should be to maintain skills. Optimally, our children should start the new school year ahead of where they left off.

The beauty of TeleSpeech is the flexibility of time and place. If you go on vacation, you can take us with you, as long as you have Wi-Fi and a computer. The same is true if your child goes to sleep away camp. With a quick switch of the schedule and permission to use their laptop, the therapy sessions can continue: Different time, different place but same therapist and routine.

Here are three tips to help you build speech and language practice into summer activities:

Make it Fun: Online speech and language therapy is inherently cool with a built in technology factor. Our therapists are trained to kick-it up a notch, adding a summer coolness factor while cranking up the heat on skills,

Keep it Simple: Simplicity is important no matter what the season, but it takes on a new meaning during vacation or travel periods. Remember, the most powerful things in life – and in therapy – often are the simplest. If you are traveling, or trying to incorporate summer therapy sessions around camp schedules, let simplicity be the guide. The less complicated the logistics, the greater the chance for success.

Offer Incentives: Schools and libraries offer rewards for summer reading. Positive reinforcement helps promotes success. Every family has their own reward system. You know what works best for each of your children!

Spring, summer, fall or winter, our Great Speech therapists are available year-round to ensure consistency. Contact us today for more information.

_MG_5454

Top Three Reasons to Bring Online Speech Therapy into Your School

Kids who qualify for speech therapy are entitled to receive FREE services through the public school.

It’s the law. Federal Law.

The problem is our country is experiencing a shortage of Speech and Language therapists.

We may not feel the impact in large metropolitan areas. But in rural areas or states where there are no speech and language graduate programs, the lack of qualified speech therapists is a major obstacle.

The solution?

Online speech therapy companies like Great Speech, are helping schools fulfill the mandate in a cost efficient, effective manner.

Why bring Great Speech into your school?

Flexible: Our licensed therapists can support both small and large caseloads. It is not cost effective for a school with a minimum number of students requiring services to hire a therapist. And therapists do not find it worthwhile to work in a school with small caseloads.

With Great Speech, size does not matter. We can service both large and small caseloads.

Efficient: Our TeleSpeech model is cost efficient and effective, saving time and money. Often we can pull five students out at one time and have them each work with their own therapist. In addition, we take the hiring burden off of the administration, a time consuming and often frustrating task by providing the right therapist for each child.

Interactive: Students respond to the innovative model while receiving quality services. All that is generally needed is a quiet space, a computer with good internet connection and an e-helper which can be a teacher, aide or volunteer to walk the student to the work area and supervise the logging in and logging out process.

And our services are not limited to traditional brick and mortar schools.

Medical needs, commuting issues, and social reasons like bullying, are just some of the reasons children are enrolling in the virtual school system.  And the schools are reaching out to online speech therapy services, like Great Speech, to fulfill the federal mandate. It’s an ideal model for students who are already proficient online learners.

We also work with social home school programs, where the children are under the home school umbrella but congregate regularly for social purposes and to share resources like online speech therapy.

Currently we are servicing schools in Florida Texas, Kansas and Tennessee. And the roster of schools are growing. Our students range from kindergarten students to seniors in high school and have been diagnosed with Down Syndrome, Autism, Bell’s Palsy and Cerebral Palsy. They have reading, math or language disorders.  Our therapists specialize in stuttering, auditory processing, executive functioning, articulation and more.

And the feedback?

“We have used Great Speech to provide speech services for select students within our interlocal for the past three years. The company has been extremely easy to work with. They are responsive to our requests…The greatest positive has been in the services provided. We have felt like we are providing quality speech services to our students with a delivery model that works.”

Miles Harvey, Assistant Director

Butler County Special Education

 

 

How can we be of service to you?

summer fun

Three Tips to Promote Speech and Language Therapy over the Summer

Ask my children to name the two most anticipated words of the school year and they will unanimously say: Summer vacation

And the two most dreaded words: Summer Reading

The end of the school year and the beginning of summer vacation is a juxtaposition of extremes.   There is no transition from the rigorous routine of early morning wake up times, breakfast and carpools and after school activities, homework and bedtime to our summer break.

With the first day of vacation, those time sensitive pressures suddenly end. There are still carpools for day camp and a semblance of a routine. But with the extra hours of sunlight and lack of test schedules, the pressure is off.

Except for summer reading.

My children bemoan the dreaded summer reading list. As an experienced speech therapist, I understand the value.

Reading over the summer is incredibly important for students and their academic achievement.

The research is clear that children who don’t read during the summer can lose up to three months of reading progress and that loss has a cumulative, long-term effect.

The same is true for speech therapy.

Think about it. You diligently schedule speech therapy appointments during the school year and the momentum and consistency are huge factors in maximizing progress. And then summer vacation comes, and our school year routine comes to a halt.

But your child’s need for language development does not end with the school year. Working on children’s speech and language progress is a year-round priority. At a minimum, the goal of summer should be to maintain skills. Optimally, our children should start the new school year ahead of where they left off.

The beauty of TeleSpeech is the flexibility of time and place. If you go on vacation, you can take us with you, as long as you have Wi-Fi and a computer. The same is true if your child goes to sleep away camp. With a quick switch of the schedule and permission to use their laptop, the therapy sessions can continue: Different time, different place but same therapist and routine.

Here are three tips to help you build speech and language practice into summer activities:

Make it Fun: Online speech and language therapy is inherently cool with a built in technology factor. Our therapists are trained to kick-it up a notch, adding a summer coolness factor while cranking up the heat on skills,

Keep it Simple: Simplicity is important no matter what the season, but it takes on a new meaning during vacation or travel periods. Remember, the most powerful things in life – and in therapy – often are the simplest. If you are traveling, or trying to incorporate summer therapy sessions around camp schedules, let simplicity be the guide. The less complicated the logistics, the greater the chance for success.

Offer Incentives: Schools and libraries offer rewards for summer reading. Positive reinforcement helps promotes success. Every family has their own reward system. You know what works best for each of your children!

Spring, summer, fall or winter, our Great Speech therapists are available year-round to ensure consistency. Contact us today for more information.

 

 

 

Stressed Asian student in a classroom. Shot against blackboard with formulas

Four Speech Therapy Diagnoses that Qualify Your Child for Extended Time

Most of us are familiar with the testing accommodation of “extended time.”

And to many of us, the ability to apply for extra time is generally perceived to be linked to a specific learning or physical disability: a student who writes slowly, has ADHD and is easily distractible in a large group setting or has a medical diagnosis such as visual or hearing impairment. These accommodations are provided “to level the playing field for students with professionally diagnosed and documented disabilities.”

But here is a little known fact.

extneded-time-image-2-copy-copy

Students who have specific speech and language diagnoses may be eligible to take the College Board exams with accommodations under the Students with Disabilities (SSD).

• Language Disorder
• Childhood-Onset Fluency Disorder (stuttering)
• Speech Sound Disorder (Phonological Disorder)
• Social (Pragmatic) Communication Disorder

extneded-time-image-3-copy
A licensed speech and language therapist can assess, diagnose and provide supporting documentation to facilitate the accommodation process. The therapist can document how the communication disorder impacts the student’s daily functioning as well as their ability to take the College Board exams.

The College Board strongly recommends that once a child has been tested by a Speech and Language Pathologist, the accommodation should be requested through their school. Here’s why:

• While families using the paper form must always submit documentation to the College Board for review, SSD Coordinators must do so only rarely.

• When documentation has to be submitted to the College Board, SSD Coordinators can submit it online.

• Your school’s SSD Coordinator has probably been through the College Board accommodations request process before with other students.
Extended time comes with no stigma attached.
So why not apply for the extra time your child needs to increase scores and eligibility for college acceptance?

Did you say school image

Six Essential Back-to-School Tips for Parents and Kids

Summer fun brings family fun!

We naturally celebrate summer by changing our routine. Camp replaces school, vacations become the norm and homework becomes a distant memory.
Until the first official back-to-school notice arrives.

It’s a transition for everyone, both mentally and physically. Here are some tried and true tips to facilitate the process:
 Create a routine and ease into it: Involve all family members into creating the schedule for school as well as the transition routine. If bedtime has been lax, start working on a routine. If TV time has been unlimited, start cutting back to realistic school levels.

 Promote organization through conversation: Most people think of organizing as the physical act of putting things in the right place. But organizing is also a mental process and a great way to encourage organized behavior is through conversation. Taking the time to talk about what you did today and what you plan to do tomorrow is a way to teach sequencing skills and demonstrate how what you do today impacts your plan for tomorrow. Dinner time is the perfect venue for these type of family conversations.

 Move from organization to executive functioning: While regular conversations focusing on planning promotes organized thinking, taking it to the next level will promote executive functioning, a set of essential mental skills which help you manage time, pay attention, keep your life organized and more.

Some of us are born with natural executive functioning skills. Others need to be taught.School supplies shopping Read more

Gardiner Scholarship Florida

The Latest Scholarship News for Florida Special Needs Kids

Good news for Florida residents! Your child may be eligible for the Gardiner Scholarship. Also known as the PLSA, Personal Learning Scholarship Account, this NEW financial program is designed to better meet the individual educational and therapeutic needs of Florida children with disabilities, ages 3-22 (or 12th grade.)

If your child qualifies for the PLSA, you can purchase approved services or products such as speech therapy from certified providers such as Great Speech.

To be eligible for this scholarship, you must meet the following criteria:

  1. Residency: For Florida residents only
  2. Age: Applicants must be 3 or 4 years old on or before September 1 of the year in which the student applies for program participation, or eligible to enroll in kindergarten through 12th grade in a Florida public school or 22, whichever comes first.
  3. IEP: Applicant must have an IEP
  1. Diagnosis of Disability: Applicant must have a diagnosis of disability from a physician licensed under chapter 458 or chapter 459 or a Florida state-licensed psychologist
  2. Disabilities: A number of diagnoses are covered including: autism spectrum disorder, Down syndrome, muscular dystrophy, Williams syndrome, cerebral palsy and specific intellectual disabilities.
  3. School: Applicant must be enrolled in a private school or participating in a home school program

The PLSA is not a set amount but rather is determined by a number of factors including where you live in Florida, level of need and grade, though the average for the 2015-16 school year is approximately $10,000.

Your child may be eligible for FREE speech therapy services, and as a licensed provider, we hope to provide those services to you.  For more information or to apply, click here.