Speech and language therapy services

Introduction

Speech and language therapists assess, diagnose, and treat people with communication difficulties in a wide variety of settings, including local health centres, hospitals and schools. Therapy services help people who have difficulties with speech, language, fluency, voice and swallowing.

Some people may fail to access education, social, economic and career opportunities due to communication difficulties of one kind or another. Therapy services help people to maximise their communication potential and can help with daily living.

The Health Service Executive (HSE) provides speech and language therapy services in the public health service. Private therapy services are also available.

Rules

Speech and language therapy services may be available to people with communication difficulties through Local Health Offices or voluntary organisations on contract to the HSE.

Public health speech and language therapy services are free and, in most areas, children get priority. The service may be provided in schools or in health centres or clinics.

In some areas, adults may also access speech and language therapy services if referred by their family doctor (GP), public health nurse or through a public hospital. Priority may be given to adults who have a speech and language disability that has been caused by a stroke, accident or a progressive neurological disorder.

Rates

Speech and language therapy services provided through the public health service are free of charge.

You have to pay for private services. However, you may be able to claim tax relief on medical expenses.

Where to apply

Contact your Local Health Office for information on services in your area.

For private speech and language therapy, you can contact the therapist directly. The Independent Speech-Language Therapists in Ireland (ISTI) has a directory of member therapists in private practice.

Speech and language therapists are regulated by CORU which maintains a register of therapists. All practising Speech and Language Therapists must be registered with CORU.

The Irish Association of Speech and Language Therapists (IASLT) is the professional association of speech and language therapists in Ireland. It provides factsheets about common speech and language disorders.

Many charitable organisations offer speech and language therapy information and supports. For more information, contact the relevant support groups (for example, support groups for stammering, stroke or Parkinson’s disease).

Page edited: 16 October 2018