Kayla's Cup of Tea, aka Cup of Tea Speech Therapy, with Kayla Obenour, M.S. CCC-SLP is located in Findlay, Ohio and serves Hancock County. If you live outside of Hancock County, Ohio and are seeking speech therapy services, contact for more information, as arrangements can be made on a case-by-case basis.
Kayla's Cup of Tea operates under a private pay model and would be considered an out of network provider for any insurance. Payment is due at the time of service, unless other arrangements are made. If your insurance offers out of network benefits, a super bill with appropriate billing information can be provided for you to submit to your insurance for reimbursement. Please contact your insurance for questions about out-of-network coverage.
Although some states require speech-language pathologists (SLPs) to hold a certificate that allows them to work in a school setting, in terms of the underlying training and qualifications required to earn a degree in speech-language pathology, there is no difference between school-based and outpatient/private SLPs. Both clinicians are required to obtain a graduate degree involving clinical therapy experience and extensive coursework pertaining to a wide variety of topics related to speech and language development, disorders, and treatment. Following graduation, both school-based and outpatient/private SLPs must pass the praxis exam and complete a Clinical Fellowship Year and are then eligible to hold the Certificate of Clinical Competence (CCC) awarded by our national governing body The American Speech-Language Hearing Association (ASHA). The CCCs indicate that the SLP is credentialed by ASHA and ensures that the SLP is obtaining required continuing education credits and abiding by the ASHA code of ethics.
Speech therapists, or speech-language pathologists (SLPs), work with children in four main areas: articulation (speech sounds, intelligibility), language (receptive and expressive), pragmatics (social language skills), stuttering/fluency, and feeding (oral motor, swallowing, some sensory).
If you would like to speak with a therapist about your concerns, you can participate in a free consultation. A free consultation consists of a 15-20 minute phone call where you can talk with a speech language pathologist about your concerns without committing to a full evaluation. The therapist will ask questions about your child’s development, address any concerns you may have, and provide recommendations for your child.
School speech therapy services differ from outpatient/private services in several important ways that can impact whether a child can receive speech-language services at school. This can be confusing for parents.
An important difference between the two settings (school-based speech and outpatient or “private” speech) is “eligibility” or how the child qualifies for and accesses the services. In a private setting, an evaluation can be initiated when there is concern about any aspect of a child’s communication development. Following this evaluation, therapy services can be recommended if the results indicate a disorder or delay that is below age-level expectations and is impacting their daily life. However, qualifying for school services is a bit more complicated. All speech services provided by the school are available solely for the purpose of helping the student “access” the educational curriculum and function appropriately at school. These stipulations are in the federal law called The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). According to the law, in order to access speech services, the school is required to 1) demonstrate that the child has a disability (in one of the disability categories defined by the state), 2) formally document how the disability is negatively impacting the child’s performance at school, and 3) demonstrate that the child requires "specially designed instruction" to address these needs and help them access the school curriculum. The second component (proof of this negative impact on school performance) is called “adverse effect” and it is key to qualifying for school-based therapy services. If the school cannot demonstrate this adverse effect, it is illegal for them to remove the child from instruction in the general education setting and provide special education services (such as speech therapy).
It’s very important for parents to understand that a child can in fact, demonstrate deficits in communication (such as speech errors) but not be eligible for school-based speech services, because the impairment is not sufficiently impacting the child’s school performance (in other words, the adverse effect is either absent or not significant enough to warrant school services). This is not because the school SLP is trying to withhold services, but instead has to do with the strict eligibility criteria outlined by federal and state law. In fact, a student's communication skills often need to be significantly delayed or disordered to qualify for school-based services. Less severe communication deficits and disorders may not be significant enough to impact educational performance and qualify the child for school services, although the child may in fact benefit from or require speech-language services to address communication deficits.
One benefit of private speech-language services is that services can be recommended before the impairment has progressed to the more severe level that is often required to qualify for school services. Accessing private services earlier (instead of waiting until the concerns are significant as may be necessary at school) can reduce the social-emotional impact of communication difficulties and may reduce the overall time required to remediate the concerns.
This is a tricky topic and a very important one. It is imperative that parents understand “how the system works” in this scenario. However, based on my experience, most parents don’t understand this aspect of the system nor are they aware of how it may impact the answer they receive in response to this important question.
The first element that is critical to understanding this issue is that the school is required by law to provide adequate speech services to help a child with an identified disability access the curriculum. (Remember that IDEA law we mentioned earlier? Same law here.) Because of this, if a school employee indicates that your child needs more speech, it could be legally interpreted as “the school is not providing ENOUGH speech,” and that could get the district in trouble with regulators, because if the child NEEDS more speech, the school could be required to provide it. This means, if a district employee suggests that school therapy is not enough, or a child needs more, the district could be on the hook to pay for more therapy.
The second very important element to understanding this issue, is that by law, the school is not required to provide intense services to maximize progress. The school is only legally required to provide enough support to help the child access the curriculum and demonstrate “adequate” progress. As one supreme court judge controversially put it: schools are not required to provide a Cadillac when a Chevy will suffice. This doesn’t mean that school therapy is watered-down, or not quality therapy. It just means it will likely not be the same level of intensity that a private setting is able to provide. Although we may disagree with this aspect of the educational system as professionals and parents, we nonetheless need to understand how this component of the system works so that we can make informed decisions.
I think it’s important to emphasize: the school SLP is not “the bad guy” in this scenario! It’s crucial to understand that school SLPs are often bound by district rubrics that govern how many service minutes can be provided based on the severity of a student’s speech needs. Further, when determining these minutes, school SLPs are only allowed to consider needs related to a child’s educational needs. This is an important distinction from the way a private SLP determines therapy needs. This is crucial for parents to understand because this does not mean that a child could not benefit from additional services outside of school. Again, I have to emphasize: this is not “school SLPs being stingy with services"; this is how the special education laws are structured. And while this legal standard may be a less-than-ideal educational benchmark, at the end of the day, it’s important for parents to understand the constraints school-based therapists face that impact therapy services (such as minutes guidelines, heavy caseloads, large group sizes, and schedule limitations) so that they can determine whether their child really would benefit from private services in addition to school services.
So how do you know if your child really would benefit from additional services? Listen carefully to how the school SLP answers your question. If the SLP points out that the school services your child is receiving are sufficient to support your child’s progress at school and are helping him/her access the curriculum, but stops short of saying no additional services are recommended, your ears should perk up. The SLP may say something like, “While I do think Johnny is getting what he needs at school, if you would like to seek out additional services, as his school SLP I would support that.” Or, “If Johnny, was my child, I might consider seeking out additional ways I could support him.” Or even, “If you are concerned about Johnny’s speech outside of school, you might want to mention it to his pediatrician or reach out to a private SLP.” Each of these answers might be a subtle way that the school SLP is indicating that although school services are helping your child’s progress at school, it might be worth investigating whether additional services could be beneficial to further support your child’s development.
Any person who has experienced special education - from either the parent or educator view - will tell you that the system can be difficult and confusing to navigate. The truth is, school therapists are not in a position to control how the special education system itself works. They are often bound by many factors beyond their control, including federal and state law, eligibility requirements, and district policy. This particular issue is an example of how both dedicated school therapists and well-meaning parents can be put in a tough position by the way the system is structured. Ultimately, if you are unsure whether your child would benefit from private services in addition to school-based services, seeking a second opinion from a private SLP can be helpful.
Due to the strict eligibility criteria for accessing services, one way that schools have been able to provide help to more students is by utilizing an intervention framework called RtI or MTSS. These intervention programs are designed to give struggling students a boost of help to see if their skills can be improved by a short period of intense support without having to go through the full IEP process. In some districts (although not all), SLPs are allowed to use this informal framework to help kids who would ordinarily not qualify for services and give them just a little extra help.
Informal services can be a great way for students to receive a little extra support but there are some cautions parents should be aware of:
School SLPs are some of the warmest, most caring people I know. They want to help as many children as they can and informal services can be a great way for them to help more students. But school SLPs are also some of the busiest, most over-scheduled educators I know and their ability to provide consistent, effective informal services is often dependent on whether they can find time to squeeze the extra sessions into their already packed day.
If your child is receiving informal services, and after a few months progress is not being seen or services are not wrapping up, it may be advisable to seek a private consultation or evaluation to determine whether formal, more intensive private services might benefit your child.
The goal of speech therapy is the same for any age: to improve skills that will lead to more effective and confident communication. Some adults need speech therapy to address a medical condition, while others need help reorganizing thoughts, orientation, and memory following an injury or illness. During an initial evaluation, prospective speech therapy patients will be evaluated on the following areas:
Speech therapy can also address stuttering and its impact on the patient’s social communication, as well as swallowing issues linked to speech deficiencies.
Medical issues such as stroke, Parkinson’s disease, Dementia, or Multiple Sclerosis can affect speaking, language or swallowing skills. Accidents that injure the brain, throat, jaw, or facial structure can also impair the ability to speak. While adult speech therapy is not guaranteed to cure all speech disabilities, many patients see strong improvement in language skills and increased confidence and quality of life.
Yes. In addition to a speech language pathologist, Kayla Obenour has experience in various pagenst systems as a National pageant queen, coach and judge. She utilizes her professional expertise to provide services in interview skills, on-stage questions, paperwork preparation, and general public speaking skills. Kayla offers a variety of content creation services (i.e., ad pages, platform pages, and social media content).
Kayla strives to provide services around YOUR schedule, which includes evenings and weekends. For specific scheduling questions contact Kayla Obenour at email@example.com or 567-429-1773.
This article represents the personal experiences, perspectives, and opinions of the author with regard to the topics discussed.
Kayla Obenour, M.S. CCC-SLP is a licensed and certified speech-language pathologist. She is the founder of Cup of Tea Speech Therapy in Findlay, Ohio Kayla provides home-based speech therapy services for individuals of all ages in portions of Hancock and surrounding counties. Kayla has experience working in home heath, school , skilled nursing and in- and outpatient settings. You can email Kayla directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.