"Not being able to speak is not the same as not having anything to say."

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I pay for services at Speech Language Pathology in Motion?

You can pay for speech therapy services by cash, personal check or credit card.  We accept Visa, American Express, Discover and Master Card.   Payment is due at the time of the session.  If you have out of network coverage for speech, language or feeding therapy, you may choose to submit claims to your insurance company for reimbursement.  Many  major insurance companies cover speech therapy services; however, each insurance plan varies.  We can assist you in determining your coverage.   

We believe that each and every child with speech, language and feeding difficulties should be able to afford high quality treatment.  We are committed to keeping our therapy rates as affordable as possible while maintaining the highest quality of care.  

If you are not covered by insurance, we may be able to assist you in securing funding for therapy.   Please visit our links page for possible funding sources, or contact us for assistance. 

My child no longer qualifies for speech, but is still struggling, can we get private therapy?

Yes!  The early intervention and school systems provide services to children  who have significant speech and language delays and disorders that will  impact the child's education.  If your child's speech or language difficulties do not impact his/her education, or are not found to be significant enough for them to be eligible for services through these programs, you still should help your child to overcome these  difficulties by seeking private speech therapy.   

My child gets therapy at school or through early intervention, can they receive private therapy too?

Yes, you can receive private therapy in addition to the county/state/school  provided therapy.  Additional private therapy often helps children to make progress toward speech and language goals at a faster rate, and the focus may be different in private therapy than in educationally relevant models.

How often should we come for therapy? How long are the sessions?

Following the initial evaluation,  if speech or language therapy services are recommended, we will make a  recommendation regarding how often and how long you or your family member should come for therapy.  Each patient is unique; however we typically recommend speech therapy 1-3 times per week for 30, 45 or 60 minutes.   

My child already gets speech therapy in school. Can we just come for hippotherapy?

We do not offer hippotherapy as a "stand alone service" at Speech Language Pathology in Motion.  

We want the best for our clients.  In our experience, clients make the greatest progress when therapy is provided in more than one setting, using more than one technique.  This approach to treatment gives the therapist a great deal of information about how the client is doing with his or her skills in different settings and helps the therapist to ensure that the client makes gains as quickly as possible. 

In addition, consistency is critical for progress.  There are times when the horses are not available due to scheduling or weather.  Progress may be interrupted, or clients may even demonstrate regression in skills if therapy is not consistent.  Clients are expected to attend therapy in accordance with their treatment plan, and come to the Hauppauge clinic any time a scheduled session is not able to take place at the Islandia location to ensure continuity of care.

How does Hippotherapy differ from Adaptive or Therapeutic Horseback Riding?

The positive benefits of interactions between horses and individuals with special needs have been recognized and researched for decades.  

There are a variety of services and activities available for individuals with special needs incorporating horses.  Two of the most common are "therapeutic/adaptive horseback riding lessons" and "hippotherapy".  

The most notable difference between the two is that hippotherapy is a treatment strategy or tool that can be incorporated into medical treatment, such as occupational therapy, physical therapy or speech language pathology services.  These healthcare services require medical necessity, and can only be provided by properly trained and licensed professionals.

Riding lessons do not require medical necessity, as they are recreational in nature and are not intended to provide habitation or rehabilitation.  Riding instructors typically do not have training in healthcare, nor do they have a medical license.  Riding instructors often have skills related to teaching horsemanship and are able to adapt their teaching style to meet the needs of individuals with special needs.  They allow for the safe participation in the sport of horseback riding for individuals with a variety of needs.

Why does SLPIM incorporate movement and sensory activities into speech therapy sessions?

Many complex processes contribute to a child’s ability to speak, including  motor learning, motor planning, sensory processing and sensory  integration.  The production of a single syllable requires the participation of 8-10 body parts and the coordinated action of 70 muscles.  Because  speech is a complex motor task involving so many different muscles and body parts, it is important the entire body be addressed.  Inadequate  trunk control, instability at the shoulder girdle, and poor stability in the head, neck and jaw can all negatively impact speech production.Recognizing  that speech is a movement task means we must also recognize the importance of an intact sensory processing system, because the ability to move well requires feedback to the brain from the...

Why do you use horses?

Speech Language Pathology in Motion uses horses in our treatment for several different reasons.  The farm is a language rich environment and provides a lot to talk about.   Patients respond well to being around the animals and to being outdoors.  Many times the patients do not realize that they are working on therapy goals.The  horses walking gait moves the human body in a similar pattern to the  human pelvis while walking.  The therapist is able to facilitate increased trunk control, stability and breath support through the movement of the horse.  These functions support speech and language.The horse’s walk provides sensory input through movement, which is variable, rhythmic, and repetitive.  While on the horse, the patient moves up and down, forward and back, side to side and through space as  the horse walks. This type of movement is not able to be replicated in a clinic.  The therapist carefully chooses horses for each patient based  on the type of movement they produce.  The variability of the horse’s  gait enables the therapist to grade the degree of sensory input to the  patient, and then utilize this movement in combination with other speech-language pathology treatment strategies to achieve desired results. A wide variety of speech and language goals can be addressed while on the horse, and around the farm. 

Is speech therapy incorporating hippotherapy and/or equine assisted therapy for everyone?

While many children and adults benefit from Hippotherapy and Equine Assisted Therapy, it is not for everyone.  There are several factors that may make hippotherapy or equine assisted therapy contraindicated. 

What is the difference between hippotherapy and equine assisted speech therapy?

Speech therapy incorporating hippotherapy refers to the use of equine movement to address speech and language goals as part of an integrated intervention approach to achieve functional outcomes.  The patient is on the horse, and the horse is moving.  Equine assisted speech therapy is conducted using the horses and the farm environment as part of the treatment.  The patient is not necessarily on the horse, but may still be interacting with the horse and the farm environment.

How much time will be spent on the horse?

The treatment plan is different for each patient.  At the time of your  evaluation it will be determined if Hippotherapy should be a part of the treatment plan, and to what extent.  The  scheduled session times are 30, 45 or 60 minutes, and typically are  provided 1-3 times/week.  It is at the therapist’s discretion how much of that time is spent on the horse, in the barn, and in the treatment room.  Each patient tolerates different amounts of time on the horse.  Spending time around the farm and in the clinic facilitates carry over of skills achieved while on the horse, and is a very important part of  the treatment. The therapist has extensive training in conducting approach, and will use this expertise in determining how the session will be spent by taking into account many variables (including but not limited to the best way to address specific speech-language goals, safety, and patient performance). All sessions will be held in the clinic on days that it is determined that Hippotherapy/Equine Assisted Therapy is not appropriate.   

Is hippotherapy safe?

Hippotherapy is safe when provided by a trained therapist, with the help of a  specially trained hippotherapy team.  The risk of an injury is low.  The use of equine movement at Speech Language Pathology in Motion is done with carefully selected horses, and well trained horse handlers and side  walkers.  Our therapists have extensive experience working with horses and  training in the use of hippotherapy and equine assisted speech therapy for both children and adults. A research study conducted by Rebecca Cook, OTR, HPCS found that "The  hippotherapy injury rate (1/14,386) is significantly lower compared with  recreational riders (1/100)."  

Are there age restrictions for the use of hippotherapy in treatment?

At Speech Language Pathology in Motion we begin treating children using  hippotherapy as young as 18 months of age, when appropriate.  

How is PROMPT therapy different from traditional articulation therapy?

"Traditional" speech language therapy relies on auditory and visual systems to  provide information about sound production.  PROMPT therapy adds another dimension to the process of learning to talk, by providing information to the tactile system.  Adding this dimension helps children and adults to better understand timing and placement for speech production by providing them with physical cues in addition to visual and auditory cues.  Sensory feedback from movements is stored and as the child is provided multiple opportunities for practice muscle memory builds and movement patterns for speech improve. 

Can you incorporate both hippotherapy and PROMPT in the same speech therapy session?

For many patients we are able to incorporate both hippotherapy and PROMPT into the same session.  The exception to this is when the patient is too tall for the therapist to reach while on the horse.  Most of our pediatric patients receive hippotherapy on small horses and PROMPTing on the horse is not difficult.  Hippotherapy and PROMPT go together nicely.  Both PROMPT and Hippotherapy embody motor learning theory and both take the whole body into consideration when addressing speech and language goals.  The two techniques complement each other well and when  combined are highly effective in the remediation speech and language  difficulties and improving motor planning abilities. 

What is a motor speech disorder?

Motor Speech Disorders are impairments in one or more of the motor processes that are required for speech.  Children with motor speech disorders may exhibit motor deficits in one or more of the following areas:

  • Sensory Processing and Motor Planning: Two major types of sensory input, tactile and proprioceptive, are closely linked to the acquisition of well-controlled movements for speech. Information from tactile and proprioceptive systems, generated during movement experiences, is critical to motor planning and the  automaticity of movements.  "Motor plans" are internalized plans of  action that prescribe movement patterns for specific motor actions.
  • Sensory-motor Programming:  This process accounts for the timing and positioning of movements of the speech musculature, which are the foundation for coordinated  movements. Childhood Apraxia of Speech is a motor speech disorder affecting the ability to plan and program movement sequences for speech production.
  • Movement Execution:  At the level of execution, the muscles of the jaw, lips and tongue produce the previously planned and programmed movements for speech  production. Dysarthria is a term for a group of related motor speech disorders resulting from paralysis, weakness, abnormal tone or  incoordination of the muscles used in speech.  Some children may exhibit characteristics that are typical of dysarthria, (hypotonia, fine or gross motor delays), yet have no neurologic diagnosis.

Motor actions (for speech) are closely linked to sensory information received through movement experiences. 

Where can I find articles and information on speech, language and feeding development?

Speech Language Pathology in Motion has a list of helpful links and articles along with grant and funding information that might help!

Why is it called "Hippotherapy"?

Don't worry!  Hippos are NOT part of the "hippotherapy" team!  "Hippo" is the Greek word for horse.  The term Hippotherapy loosely translates as "treatment with the help of a horse".