How do outpatient and school-based Speech-Language Therapy differ?

What does speech-language therapy look like in schools?

School-based speech therapy can follow a “push in” and/or “pull out” model, meaning the therapist supports the child within the classroom setting with peers, or out of the classroom for individual attention. Goals for each of these types of school-based therapy are similar, with the main focus being increased independence and carryover of skills into the classroom setting. For example, a therapist may remove the child from the classroom for a period of time (pull out therapy) in order to target articulation skills (e.g., production of /k/ in conversation). As the child is meeting this goal consistently, the therapist may provide push in support within the classroom to assist the child in implementing this skill during free play with peers (i.e., generalization).


What does speech-language therapy look like in an outpatient setting?

Outpatient or private/clinic based speech and language therapy focuses on developing and practicing the skills needed to understand and communicate as effectively as possible, across settings. These might include producing specific sounds when speaking, maintaining social engagement with a conversational partner, quality and quantity of expressive output, symbolic and pretend play skills, following directions in order to complete a task, and phonological awareness skills for literacy. Helping the child to increase their level of independence, ability, and overall confidence while taking into consideration the family’s priorities is the most important goal of therapeutic intervention.