Speech Therapy - ECI Versus Private Therapy

Updated on May 14, 2014
L.D. asks from Humble, TX
9 answers

My son is 2 years old and is just babbling. The only real word he says is "Hi". He has been getting services from ECI for the past year. We just moved to Houston because my husband got a new job. I am now trying to decide if we should continue with ECI for his speech therapy or if we should go to Texas Children's Hospital for his speech therapy. I always hear that early intervention is best and so I want the best therapy I can get for him as soon as possible. I am wondering your thoughts on private therapy versus therapy through ECI. Would I see more progress if I sent my son to private therapy at Texas Children's Hospital or is ECI just as good?

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answers from Portland on

Why not do both? We do. ECI is once a week, but they have a lot of paperwork that has to be done also, so the amount of therapy isn't all that great. I think it averages about 30 min tops a week. We were doing private therapy with a great lady and he made some good strides. But, she left the practice and the next one was terrible. It really depends on the therapist as to which is better. But, we got a third therapist through the Neurodevelopmental Center for Kids, and she is fantastic. She did a parent training with us, so that we learned how to practice helping him as much as possible. I think this made a great impact on his progress.

On a side note, check out Qigong Massage. It has been the biggest thing to impact our son's development. It is easy and it will help you bond with your little one as well. (http://qsti.org/) The study being done is for Autism, but it works amazingly for speech!

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answers from New York on

When my son was younger, he received speech physical and occupational therapies. He had therapist that came to our house through early intervention and he also received private therapies from children's hospital and the children's institute. It was then that they sent him to be evaluated for autism. It turns out that he is on the spectrum but all the therapies did a wonderful thing for him. I would consider doing both. You are very right, early intervention is best. Good luck to you and your son!!

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answers from Philadelphia on

If you have insurance that will cover it, you can do both. (or you could pay out of pocket).

My son didn't talk until he turned 3 1/2 (although he had 100 or so baby signs.) He is now 4 1/2 and has almost completely caught up. He had early intervention starting before 2, private speech therapy around 3 and back in the "public" speech therapy now. I feel like he was just a late bloomer... I certainly can't rule out the impact any of this speech therapy may have had on him. But it seemed like as he got older, he just started talking more.

So I guess I feel like everything he had prior to age 3 was kind of a waste (again... just my feeling and I could be completely wrong). He didn't pay attention, he didn't participate, he just wasn't into it. If I had it to do again, I'd do early intervention at 2 and not worry about it. At 3, I'd ramp it up, maybe add extra sessions. Good luck! Its frustrating, I know, but it WILL all work out.

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answers from Toledo on

We never used EI, but that's because our insurance covered everything. Our doctor gave us a referral, and the therapist turned out to be a high school classmate of mine so we just went that route.

We started when he was 18 months, and he made progress. He started with the school district when he turned 3 and really took off.

I wonder if it was more age related, rather than a superior therapist. He's worked with 3 total, and they've all been great and all had periods of little progress and periods of great progress. It's like so many things if life. Sometimes there's lots of progress, and sometimes it's baby steps.

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answers from Chicago on

I just went through this process myself a couple of weeks ago. I chose private therapy, as my insurance covers everything 100%.

I got lots of feedback from folks that went through the local public option, and while the general feedback was that it was helpful, the feedback from private therapy was overwhelmingly positive.

My suggestion is that if your insurance covers private, to go that route.

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answers from Dallas on

My daughter does both. Twice a week at her school and once a week at Our Children's House in Allen. It has really helped her. I say if the school offers it, get it for free too.

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answers from Beaumont on

Just to ease your mind. My son didn't start saying anything til 3!! He's 14 now and won't be quiet! We used ECI and I thought they were quite good. They didn't suspect anything unusual, only a delay so we stayed with them. They would probably be a good first step. Did they suspect anything unusual?? If so, I'd pursue a deeper level of therapy. If not, I found ECI to have very good therapists.

Good luck. I'm sure he'll be just fine.


answers from Washington DC on

Early intervention for speech therapy for us .... Really it was more like play therapy. Our first and only word at nearly 2 was also "Hi" in every inflection possible. What really helped though was the evaluation early intervention requested we do with the ENT and sleep specialist. Ear tubes and tonsils and adenoids removed made a HUGE difference and had kiddo talking in full sentences very quickly. He also started sleeping better (though still not great) and his frustration level dropped dramatically.

So, I guess, maybe you should talk with your EI therapist and see if you need an ENT evaluation. He may need tubes ...



answers from Chattanooga on

My daughter has been in speech therapy since she was 2. Her original therapist was through a children's hospital (and the state's early intervention program...) and she did allright there... But not a huge amount of improvement. When she turned 3, she started doing therapy through the school district and has shown HUGE improvement over the last year. Of course, a big part of that is (I believe) working with her at home, following advice the new therapist gave me. I can now (she just turned 4) understand most of what she is saying, and she speaks in full sentences and tells stories. Last year, she could only say 3-4 word sentences.

Honestly, I would look at the therapist's workload and stuff like that, rather than the "type" of program it is. I would have assumed that the private program was better, but our first one was SO crowded that the therapist barely had time to tell me what they did that day, let alone sit down and talk about things I could do to help her, before she had to rush off for the next appointment. (Granted, the early intervention lady came to the house once a week to help me learn to work with her, but she was brand-new and didn't have much experience, so didn't help as much as the public school's speech therapist.)

One thing that I think has helped a lot is that while reading bedtime stories, I have her read along with me. We have always read two stories before bed, but it was usually me reading, and her listening and pointing at pictures. Now, I will have her "read" the first story to me. I read a word at a time, and have her repeat it to me when we work on enunciation. Sometimes I will read a few words at a time, to have her work on transitioning between words and saying full sentences. I started seeing immediate improvement! Plus, she has started learning to read without me actually teaching her, which is a plus. Lol. :)

Good luck with your decision!

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