How much does speech therapy cost?
Ashburn, VA

How much does speech therapy cost?

Ashburn, VA

How much does speech therapy cost?

$100 – $250average cost per 1-hour session (without insurance)

Get free estimates for your project or view our cost guide below:

$100 – $250 average cost per 1-hour session (without insurance)

Get free estimates for your project or view our cost guide below:
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Tara Farmer
Written by
Tara Farmer
Edited by
Jennifer Carlson
Fact-checked by
Kristen Cramer

Average cost of speech therapy

Speech therapy costs $100 to $250 per session on average with a private speech therapist not covered by insurance. The cost of speech and language therapy with insurance depends on your state, insurance plan, and medical diagnoses. Early intervention speech therapy is free for qualifying children under the age of 3.

Speech therapy cost without insurance
National Average Cost $175
Minimum Cost $50
Maximum Cost $300
Average Range $100 to $250*

*Average cost for a 1-hour session

  • Speech therapy sessions are typically 30 or 60 minutes long. Half-hour sessions cost $65 to $175 on average.

  • Children often qualify for free or low-cost speech therapy services through early intervention services and special education services required under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA).

  • Most patients need an initial assessment appointment before starting speech therapy, which lasts longer and costs more than a regular session.

Speech therapy evaluation cost

Before starting speech therapy, you’ll need an initial assessment to determine the areas of difficulty, establish goals, and design an appropriate therapy plan. Evaluation appointments last 60 to 90+ minutes and cost $250 to $700+. Some therapists charge extra for the report write-up time needed after the appointment.

During the evaluation, the speech-language pathologist (SLP) reviews medical history, interacts with the client through conversation, play, or formal testing, assesses speech and language skills, and gathers additional information from teachers or parents if needed.

Get free estimates from speech therapists near you.

Speech therapy cost without insurance

Private speech therapy costs $65 to $250 per session on average without insurance, depending on the session type and length. Some private practices don't accept health insurance at all, while others accept insurance or use a sliding scale fee structure to make therapy more affordable if you're uninsured.

Private speech therapy cost
Private therapy session type Average cost
Initial evaluation/assessment $250 – $700
30-minute session $65 – $175
60-minute session $100 – $250

  • Children often qualify for free or reduced-cost speech therapy through publicly funded programs.

  • Online speech therapy sessions typically cost a little less than in-person sessions, though some practices charge equal pricing for both.

Speech therapy cost with insurance

Health insurance—Medicare, Medicaid, or private insurance—often covers speech therapy, but coverage amounts vary depending on the state, plan, and medical diagnosis. If you have a flexible spending account (FSA) or health savings account (HSA), you can also use those funds for speech therapy.

Contact your insurance provider to discuss your coverage and the required steps. Ask for the details listed below to make sure you understand your plan's benefits and limitations:

  • Prior authorization requirements

  • Age limits

  • Qualifying diagnoses and coverage details

  • Number of allowed visits per year

  • Copays and deductibles; your out-of-pocket cost per session

  • In-network providers and locations, if applicable

A speech therapist working with a young girl
A speech therapist working with a young girl

Factors that affect speech therapy prices

One of the biggest factors that influence the cost of speech and language therapy is whether it's covered by your health insurance. Age is also a major factor, as there are more free or low-cost therapy options for toddlers and school-age children than for adults. Other cost factors include:

  • Geographic Location: Like most healthcare services, speech therapy costs more in major cities compared to rural areas. Location also factors in overhead expenses like rent.

  • Treatment Setting: University clinics often offer lower-cost services where graduate students administer therapy under supervision of a licensed therapist. Private practices charge higher rates. In-home therapy is typically the most expensive due to the added travel costs.

  • Clinician Experience: Therapists with more experience and advanced certifications tend to charge higher rates.

  • Number, frequency, & duration of sessions: 1 to 2 sessions per week is common, but the treatment schedule and timeline vary depending on the severity of the condition and the speed of progress.

  • Discounts: Some therapists offer packages that lower the cost per session.

  • Additional costs: Speech therapists may recommend books, tools, or activities to use at home in between sessions.

Early Intervention: under age 3

Early Intervention speech therapy programs provide free speech therapy and other developmental services for qualifying babies and children younger than 3 years old. If a toddler demonstrates language delays or disorders, early intervention speech therapy will improve communication skills.

  • Early Intervention programs are publicly funded and available in every state and territory.

  • A speech-language pathologist oversees the therapy 1 to 2 times per week—either in the home or at a community site—and there are no limits on the authorized number of sessions annually.

Public school: over age 3

By law, qualifying children over age 3 may receive free or low-cost school-based speech therapy services. After a formal evaluation determines eligibility, therapy is arranged via an Individualized Education Plan (IEP) outlining the therapy amount, frequency, and setting based on the child's specific challenges and needs.

Online: any age

Online speech therapy costs 10% to 15% less than in-person services due to the lower overhead compared to traditional therapy offices. Virtual sessions with video-calling allow greater flexibility and access to more providers and specialists, making it easier to find the best fit for your needs and budget.

  • Some online speech therapy services charge per session, while others charge a weekly rate that includes one or more weekly sessions, practice opportunities, and progress reports.

  • Some practices offer 15-, 30-, 45-, and 60-minute therapy sessions to make therapy affordable for more people.

Get free estimates from speech therapists near you.

Ways to make speech therapy more affordable

While speech therapy is expensive, there are several options to help pay for needed services. In addition to health insurance and the public programs available for toddlers and school-age children, here are some other potential ways to save:

  • Look for therapy services at universities offering supervised treatment by student clinicians at a lower cost.

  • Apply for grants or scholarships through non-profit organizations like UnitedHealthcare Children's Foundation (UHCCF) that offer financial assistance for speech therapy based on financial need.

  • Enroll in therapy groups which cost less per child than individual services.

  • Ask about discounted rates for cancellations, no-shows, or for multiple-session packages.

  • Look for clinics that use a sliding fee scale based on income.

  • Schedule sessions for every other week instead of weekly.

  • Opt for shorter 30- or 45-minute sessions that cost less.

  • Take advantage of free screenings and workshops.

  • Ask your school district about free extended school year services.

Speech therapy FAQs

How does speech therapy work?

Speech therapy is a customized intervention tailored to each individual’s needs. After thoroughly evaluating a person’s abilities and challenges, the speech-language pathologist designs a treatment plan targeting specific speech, language, cognition, or swallowing goals.

Therapy focuses on improving the underlying muscles and coordination involved in speech production, building language comprehension and use, and practicing communication skills. Depending on the client's age and skill level, sessions may involve:

  • Direct one-on-one instruction

  • Interactive activities and games

  • Listening and reading exercises

  • Role playing

  • Workbooks and flashcards

  • Speech practice techniques

  • Assigning homework to practice between sessions

Speech therapy plans evolve as skills improve. Ongoing assessments track progress to ensure sessions remain productive.

How do I know if my child needs speech therapy?

When it comes to child development, acting quickly when problems emerge can prevent further developmental impacts down the road. Common warning signs of speech and language disorders include:

  • Difficulty learning and saying new words

  • Trouble putting words together into sentences

  • Rambling or incomplete sentences

  • Strangers have difficulty understanding their speech

  • Stuttering or stammering

  • Frustration when trying to communicate

  • Difficulty understanding questions or following directions

  • Minimal babbling or vocalizing by 12 months

  • Not using gestures like waving, pointing, or showing by 12 months

  • Not reaching developmental speech and language milestones for their age group

What conditions does speech therapy treat?

Speech therapy treats a wide range of communication disorders and swallowing difficulties in both children and adults.

Common pediatric conditions include:

  • Speech disorders like Childhood Apraxia of Speech (CAS)

  • Language disorders and delays

  • Articulation and phonological disorders

  • Fluency and stuttering

  • Autism spectrum disorder

  • Down syndrome

  • Hearing loss

Common adult conditions treated with speech therapy include:

  • Speech disorders after stroke or brain injury

  • Speech and language difficulties (dysarthria and dysphasia) from neurological diseases

  • Voice disorders like Paradoxical Vocal Fold Motion Disorder (PVFMD) and Vocal Cord Dysfunction (VCD)

  • Cognitive communication disorders

  • Swallowing disorders

Is speech therapy covered by insurance?

Many health insurance plans cover speech therapy when it's considered medically necessary. The specific diagnosis may impact the level of coverage. Some plans cover rehabilitative therapy after illness or injury differently than developmental therapy.

Confirm your coverage, options, and limitations with your insurance provider before starting therapy.

How long are speech therapy sessions?

Speech therapy sessions typically last 30 or 60 minutes, with one hour being most common. The therapist tailors the duration and frequency to the individual's needs and insurance requirements.

Get free estimates from speech therapists near you.

Are schools required to provide speech therapy?

Yes, the law requires public and private schools to provide speech therapy services at no cost to parents if a student's communication disorder interferes with their ability to access curriculum and learn. Common qualifying diagnoses include language disorders, articulation disorders, and voice disorders.

Finding a speech therapist

Follow these guidelines to find a qualified speech and language pathologist near you or through an online speech therapy service:

  • Look for a professional certified by the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA).

  • Ask for a referral from your doctors. You may need this for some insurance plans.

  • Check platforms like Thervo and Google for client reviews and testimonials.

  • Confirm they have relevant experience, as therapy methods and techniques vary for different age groups and medical conditions.

  • Write a formal request for an evaluation when seeking public therapy services. Some states have a time limit for following up.

  • Make sure the practice has appointments that fit your schedule.

  • Ask about discounts or sliding scale fees.

Questions to ask a speech and language pathologist

Asking the right questions can give you peace of mind and ensure you find the best local or online speech therapy services for your needs:

  • How long have you been providing speech therapy?

  • What experience do you have with this age group and medical condition?

  • Are you certified by the ASHA? What other professional certifications do you have?

  • Do you offer a free consultation?

  • How much does the initial evaluation appointment cost?

  • Is a written report included in the cost of the initial assessment?

  • How many sessions do I need for this age and disorder?

  • How often do you re-evaluate to confirm progress and establish new goals?

  • How and when do I pay for sessions?

  • What is your cancellation policy?

  • Do you take insurance?

  • Do you charge by the session or by the hour?

  • Do you have sliding scale fees?

  • Do you offer package deals or discounts for self-pay clients?

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