You may be able get low cost or free speech therapy services. There are different organizations and agencies who may be able to help you pay.

Important tip! Sometimes keeping track of the paperwork for funding therapy can be overwhelming.  As you look for ways to pay for speech therapy for your child, you should keep a record of conversations you have with each agency. Here is a helpful record keeping worksheet.


If you have insurance, check with your own insurance plan first to see if speech therapy services are covered.

Look for these key terms: speech language pathology, speech therapy, rehabilitation services, or other medically necessary services.

Make sure your policy covers both evaluationand treatmentservices. You will find this information in your policy's limitations and exclusions of coverage.

ASHA offers helpful advise on how to choose a healthcare plan that includes these services.


Public Funding

Regional Centers

In California, children under 3 years of can qualify to receive speech-language assessments and therapies through the Regional Center system. The Regional Centers serve individuals with developmental disabilities and their families by providing early intervention services to infants between birth and three years of age who are developmentally delayed or believed to be at high risk of having a developmental disability.

The Regional Center serving San Francisco is the Golden Gate Regional Center. For information about other Regional Centers, visit the California Department of Developmental Services.

School Districts

If your child is over 3-year-old, you can request an assessment from your local school district to see if he/she qualifies for speech-language and other special education services. In San Francisco, this is the San Francisco Unified School District (SFUSD). For a guide to the referral process in the SFUSD, please see the Parent Guide to Special Education.

There are many wonderful resources in the Bay Area to assist you with the referral process.

  • The Community Alliance for Special Education (CASE) also provides legal support, representation, technical assistance consultations, and training to parents throughout the San Francisco Bay Area whose children need appropriate special education services.

Healthy Families

Healthy Families is California's low cost health insurance for families of children birth to 19. Healthy Families covers Speech and Language Services. Services are provided by California Children's Services (CCS) program. There is no charge for inpatient therapy, a $5 per visit copay for outpatient services, and $10 per visit copay for outpatient services. View family income qualification requirements and sign up online.

California's Early Start Program

Early Start provides assessment and early intervention services. Infants and toddlers qualify for Early Start if they have developmental delay or medical conditions that put them at risk for delay. The Early Start Central Directory of Early Intervention Resources will help you access a their services.


University Clinics

University Clinics provide speech therapy assessment and intervention services at reduced cost. Services are administered by Graduate Speech Language Pathology students under direct supervision of a licensed Speech Language Pathologist:

Communicative Disorders Clinic @ SFSU

Graduate students provide screenings, diagnostic evaluations, and therapeutic services to infants, toddlers, children, adolescents, and adults with various disorders of speech, language, and hearing.

Kay Armstead Center for Communicative Disorders @SJSU

Provides clinical services in speech, language and hearing evaluations, treatments and consultations.



Speech Language and Hearing Clinic @ CSUEB

The Clinic offers speech, hearing and language screening, evaluations, and treatment, including the development of home programs.


No Cost Services in the Bay Area

Easter Seals Bay Area

Easter Seals Bay Area provides services from birth to young adulthood in Alameda, Contra Costa, Napa, San Francisco, San Mateo, Santa Clara, and Solano counties. Their services are listed by county.

Licensed speech therapists assess and treat problems with oral-motor development, receptive and expressive language development, auditory processing, and/or phonology. Alternative and Augmentative communication is also used.


Scottish Rite/RiteCare Childhood Language Program

RiteCare provides evaluation and treatment of speech and language disorders and learning disabilities. Local RiteCare facilities have different programs. Find your local chapter to see what they offer and what financial assistance is provided. There are many Scottish Rite Chapters in the Bay Area.



Image: David Castillo Dominici /


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