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Private insurers' stance on stutterers needs to change, he says


I want to comment on your announcement "Monthly Meeting for Parents of Children Who Stutter" (July 22).

First, I applaud the Herald for addressing the needs of children who have a problem. Second, Dr. Jerry Halvorson is well known as an expert in his field, so parents who attend this event at UW-River Falls are meeting with an expert.

I would also like to point out a couple of things that your readers may find helpful. The Web site of The Stuttering Foundation ( offers many free resources such as several streaming videos and downloadable brochures. One of the available brochures is entitled "Special Education Law and Children Who Stutters," which explains how every child in a public or private school is entitled to free speech therapy. This entitlement goes beyond stuttering and will be of interest to parents with children who have speech problems other than stuttering.

Unfortunately, private health insurance generally covers little if any at all speech therapy for children who stutter or have other types of speech problems. Private insurers need to change this situation so that there will be a parity between regular coverage and coverage for people who have speech and hearing problems.

Larry Nilsson

Red Wing