Most infants begin to babble at the age of six months. Most say their first words when they are 10-15 months old, and by the time they 18 months, they can combine words to form complete sentences. Unfortunately, not all children achieve this milestone within the expected period. When this happens, communication therapy may be necessary.
Singapore has various options for parents in need of speech therapy for their children. Since cost may be of concern to some parents, speech and language therapy Singapore are subsidized in some of the public health facilities offering the services.
For you to get subsidized government services, such as communication therapy, you need to have a formal referral letter from a certified doctor referring your child for the service. While a referral letter is considered ideal, some hospitals accept patients without a referral.
Before going to any public health facility, it is best to determine if speech and language therapy Singapore services are offered and the documents you need. Public hospitals are great if you are looking for more affordable speech therapy services. However, you may need to compromise on service duration since the demand for communication therapy may be high.
Social Service Agencies
Singapore has various social service agencies that provide communication therapy. Some of these agencies are funded by government and private companies that support social services to the community.
Some of the agencies serve specific community members, such as seniors, adults with disability, people with mental health issues, children and youth.
Since some social service agencies provide specific services for a section of the community, it is best to find the right one for you. For example, you may find speech therapy in an agency providing services to people with special needs or those that cater to children’s needs.
Today, most private hospitals provide a range of services. However, services in each hospital differ, so you are likely to find private hospitals and clinics offering speech and language therapy Singapore, and others that do not.
It is best to find out if the private clinic you are considering using has a resident speech therapist or if they have an office for the service and when the therapist is available. The advantage of seeking speech therapy services from a private clinic is you may have a longer session than a public hospital. However, you may need to make an appointment early to get a slot, especially if communication therapy is in great demand.
Early Intervention Centres for Infants and Children
Early intervention is critical if a child doesn’t achieve developmental milestones as expected. Singapore has Early Intervention Programmes for Infants and Children (EIPIC) centres that offer services to address children’s cognitive and developmental challenges.
EIPIC centres and some of the special schools provide communication therapy services. Some of these centres receive financial support from the Singapore government to provide services at a lower cost to the citizens and residents.
It is difficult for a parent to determine if a child has delayed speech or if the child is experiencing other cognitive challenges that will require a speech therapist’s support. Instead of taking too long to come to a decision, there is no harm in inquiring about your child’s speech delay.
If there are no developmental issues, at least you will be content to wait as your child goes through speech and language therapy Singapore. However, if your child has a hearing problem of other cognitive conditions, early treatment and therapy will help your child speak and even catch up with other children his age.