Child with speech delay – where you can find help. Speech therapist in Germany

Last Updated on December 14, 2023

So, you were able to convince the pediatrician that your child needs help. In this topic, more about speech therapists in Germany, how to find them, what methods they use, and what other specialists will help you. Read more about speech delay in parts 1-3.

Speech delay by children. Part 1. Norm and problems
Non-speaking child. 2. Speech delay causes
Non-Speaking child. Speech delay treatment in Germany
Special schools for children with speech problems in Germany
Asperger autism symptoms by age. Aspies in Germany
Asperger Syndrome empathy, speech and emotions

Where you can find help for child with speech delay in Germany

Speech therapist in Germany

A recipe to a speech therapist can be made by:
or Neurologie

If it doesn’t work out at all, then it’s better to pay for the first course (30-50 euros per lesson), and then go with a diagnosis and recommendations to convince the doctor.

A dispute with a pediatrician helps, and papers help even more: printouts from the Internet (many speech therapists write on their websites why therapy should be started earlier, not to wait), letters from kindergarten or school. Moms schould take dads with them. Pediatricians tend to think that women exaggerate problems.

It is easier to receive a recipe not from the pediatrician but from HNO-Arzt or Hausarzt.

How to choose a speech therapist

Unfortunately, most speech therapists in Germany are spoiled by a large number of clients and do not try to look for an individual approach. Basically, they follow the same pattern with cards or printed sheets.

It’s not a big deal if your problem is making a couple of sounds, oral motor skills or small mistakes in grammar.

But if you have diagnoses of children’s verbal dyspraxia, mutism, Poltern, aphasia, stuttering, you need to choose a specialist more carefully. Imagine that you have been waiting for 7 months for a specialist, but it turns out that this is a young girl who simply gives your child pieces of paper with articles and does not hear what you are saying to her.

A few tips:

  • Recommendations work best. Unfortunately, doctors will not give you recommendations under the pretext “If I recommend, then everyone will run to him.” For some reason, they do not see or do not want to see the difference between simple cases and complex ones. Actually, the motto of pediatricians: Live with what you have been given.
    But anyway, it makes sense to ask. Ask also the people you know and other professionals. In the end it might pay off. Most important are the recommendations of those people whose children also have complex diagnoses.
  • Open Google maps with your region, type Logopäd and list all speech therapists in your city and cities around. Look at the websites of these therapists, see where they studied and what techniques they use.
  • Сhoose therapists with a higher level of education (not the usual school of speech therapists, but, for example, a bachelor) and with suitable methods (read more about methods below).
  • See what this therapist writes about himself on the website of speech therapists union (look Service, then detailed search, where type PLZ and choose diagnose).
    Some therapist indicate possible additional languages for communication, most often English. The more complex the diagnosis, the fewer specialists will emerge. Choose those who indicate what you need. They tend to indicate less than they can, not more! Speech therapists in Germany are overwhelmed, they have no problem finding a bunch of bilingual kids who can speak perfectly without their help.

Unfortunately, many high-quality 40-50 years old specialists do not indicate anything about themselves and are generally absent on the Internet or are present there very inconspicuously. You can find them only by recommendations.

Average waiting time is up to 7 months. There are no preferences in the queue for complex cases. Unless you, as a “private” (paid) patient, can promote it.

2. SPZ (Sozialpädiatrisches Zentrum) and Kinderzentrum

The pediatrician gives the recipe and does it willingly: for him, this is an opportunity to push the problem onto other people. You just have to explain that waiting half a year for SPZ does not mean that you don’t need a speech therapist all this time.

There are centers for social pediatrics at hospitals, usually in cities – the centers of regions. But the quality of each SPZ is different. You can choose where to go! For example, the center in Heilbronn is very weak. There sit the most ordinary specialists. Perhaps they have some kind of strong point, such as Down syndrome, but it is not visible. The waiting time + visiting four specialists took up to two years. Thus at the end of “examination” the diagnosis so has not been put.

The speech therapy school recommends Stuttgart for presumed autists (there is a specialized center there), for everyone else – Kinderzentrum Maulbronn. The waiting time in Maulbronn was 9 months, you can go through three specialists at once. The difference in the level of specialists in comparison with the usual SPZ is very clearly visible.

3. Phoniatrie and Pädaudiologie

The recipe is given by the pediatrician (or otolaryngologist). Recipe is easy to get. Only you again has to explain the pediatrician that waiting for the term does not mean that you do not need to go to a speech therapist. The first check can also be made with an ordinary otolaryngologist, as well as at the Beratungsstelle at schools for the deaf.

The waiting time in these centers is different everywhere, the specialization is also slightly different. For example, in Stuttgart at the Olga Clinic it is about 4 months – half a year, and in Heidelberg – 9 months. At the same time, only hearing are checked in Stuttgart, in Heidelberg there is also a test by a speech therapist. The difference can be seen on the sites. Stuttgart describes in detail its possibilities for hearing, and about speech therapy – two lines in small print. Heidelberg also pays considerable attention to phoniatry.

After visiting these organizations, I understood why the waiting time is so abnormally long. Both there and there they admitted that everything was fine with hearing, but they wanted to see the child again. If they throw out such ballast children who come “for control” (it is not clear control of what: sudden deafness?), then the queue could noticeably speed up.

4. Beratungsstelle (counseling center) at special schools

Such consultations are available at all special schools (speech disorders, mental disorders, phychological disorders, movement disorders, intellectual disabilities, deaf children). They test children there, offer different options. Waiting time is short, no referral needed.

Parents’ fear of special schools can now be reduced through inclusion. Even if a special school decides that you are their client, you can always choose a regular school with the inclusion. To be honest, inclusion in Germany (at least on the example of Baden-Württemberg) is so pathetic that inclusion is worse for your child than a special school.

Special school in Germany: speech disorders

5. Frühförderung (early support center)

Such consultations are now available in many cities and sometimes even more than one. Usually this is something like a praxis of different specialists, where the emphasis is on early diagnosis up to 3 years.

Thanks to these centers, you can even at an early age get the recipes to a speech therapist or occupational therapist or receive such therapy in these centers.

6. Specialized sanatorium

This option is possible after all the previous ones, when there is a diagnosis, since both the doctor and the Krankenkasse must be convinced of the need for a sanatorium so that it pays for it.

Two moms from the kindergarten told about the sanatorium and was completely delighted.

In the sanatorium for four weeks the child is intensively engaged in ergo, logo, swimming, rhythm, physiotherapy. He is accompanied by one of the parents, who may change in the process. Older children are in a sanatorium without parents.

Sanatorium verified by my source:

I also found a couple of others:,

Speech therapy methods

In the list on the website of speech therapists union (see above) and on the websites of therapists, there is also additional education that specialist has. Often there are different methods. None of them is the ultimate truth and the only right and possible. But the use of different methods allows you to achieve a much better result than the classic work with cards, especially in younger children. The first three I saw in action.

Beatrice Padovan Method

A popular and quite effective method, it is often used to induce speech in non-speaking children. A special set of exercises is carried out, which helps to improve brain coordination and thereby improve speech.

Specialists who have the Padovan method on their list are good choices for Late Talker, children with suspected dyspraxia, children with neurological problems.

Read more about Beatrice Padovan Method

Barbara Zollinger Method

A very good method for young children, especially Late Talker and those who do not consider it necessary to talk. The technique is based on the fact that some children do not associate an abstract word with a specific subject. For them, speech does not yet have the significance that it should have for Homo sapiens: the ability to convey information without pointing a finger at objects.

Therapy is carried out through the game of a farm, cars, trains. First, emotional exclamations are evoked, the therapist loudly and emotionally pronounces interjections, animal cries in the game, then proceeds to short words.

Taktkin Method

The method is used for disorders of the speech apparatus, especially for aphasia and dyspraxia.

The therapist works with the muscles of the mouth, gestures that help the child remember the correct pronunciation and a certain set of words, which gradually expands. The technique involves daily work at home.

Castillo Morales Method

The method is aimed at people with problems with oral motor and swallowing problems. It is used limitedly and more often as part of therapy, and not as an independent method.

McGinnis Method

McGinnis is a specialist who has worked in schools for the deaf, which previously also included non-speaking children. Created a methodology for the development of speech through written language. The technique is more suitable for children of preschool – early school age.

Other posts about speech delay and therapy #speech therapy

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