Is speech therapy worth it?

I had a friend ask me the other week whether speech therapy was worth the time and money or should you just wait and see if they grow out of it. It was an honest question and I appreciated his forthright approach. In response to that I want to share a few little known facts: 1. Economics: Speech therapy for specific language impairment in children yeilds 6.64 times the lifetime value for every unit of investment. So that means for every $1 spent on speech therapy there will be $6.64 worth of value produced by that investment. These results are based on the RCSLT analysis of cost benefit for >170,000 children. Available here: RCSLT Cost Benefit Analysis 2. Emotional/Social/Mental Health: In later life children with unresolved language difficulties show a paucity of friendships, fewer intimate relationships and poorer social adaptation than their normally developing peers. Plus they are more than twice as likely to develop serious mental health problems. 3. Numerous studies have demonstrated that intervention for speech and language difficulties is more effective and more cost effective than a “wait and see approach” (for example BUSCHMANN, A., JOOSS, B., RUPP, A., FELDHUSEN, F., PIETZ, J. & PHILIPPI, H. 2009. Parent based language intervention for 2-year-old children with specific expressive language delay: a randomised controlled trial. Archives of Disease in Childhood, 94, 110-116.) Further to this scientific evidence are the examples we frequently see in the clinic. For example, in the same week we had a one year old with feeding difficulties (who now has a treatment plan in place and is progressing well) compared with a six year...