Connected Speech Pathology

Allison Geller's Blog

Allison Geller’s Blog Page

Florida's Gardiner Scholarship: A means for Obtaining Speech Therapy for Your Child

Your child may be eligible for the Gardiner Scholarship also known as Step up for Students. The program is designed to better meet the individual educational and therapeutic needs of Florida children with disabilities, ages 3-22 (12th grade maximum). If your child qualifies for the Gardiner Scholarship, you can use the scholarship money to purchase approved services or products such as speech therapy from a certified provider.

How do I know if my child is eligible?

The follow are the eligibility criteria:

  1. Residency: For Florida residents only

  2. Age: Applicants must be 3 or 4 years old on or before September 1 of the year in which the student applies for program participation, or eligible to enroll in kindergarten through 12th grade in a Florida public school.

  3. IEP: Applicant must have an Individualized Education Program (IEP) OR Diagnosis of Disability diagnosis of a Florida physician or psychologist or a physician who holds an active license issued by another state or territory of the United States, the District of Columbia or the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico.

  4. Disabilities: A number of diagnoses are covered including:

    • Autism spectrum disorder

    • Cerebral palsy

    • Down syndrome

    • Muscular dystrophy

    • Prader-Willi syndrome

    • Spina bifida

    • Williams syndrome

    • Intellectual disability (severe cognitive impairment).

  5. School: Applicant must be enrolled in a private school or participating in a home school program.

The Gardiner Scholarship is not a set amount but rather is determined by a number of factors including where you live in Florida and grade. The average for the 2018-19 school year is approximately $10,000.

Your child may be eligible for FREE speech therapy services through Gardiner Scholarship/Step Up for Students.

Gardiner Scholarship provider

I deliver speech services through telelpractice (online speech therapy). Online therapy is ideal for a person receiving services through Gardiner Scholarship because of the convenience it provides to those who are in rural areas, or home bound, or those who are prone to contracting virus or respiratory infections while in waiting rooms and playing with shared toys during face-to-face treatment. Online speech therapy fits in well with a routine where the child is already participating in online learning. It also helps to facilitate carryover of newly acquired skills if therapy is conducted in the child’s natural environment.

If you are interested in learning more about the Gardiner Scholarship, click here.

For more information about obtaining my speech language evaluations or treatment, click here.