Pay it Forward: RiteCare of Utah gives free speech therapy to kids

Pay it Forward: RiteCare of Utah gives free speech therapy to kids (Photo: KUTV)

(KUTV) Speech and language therapy can be very expensive, and some children may not qualify for the help they need.

That's where RiteCare of Utah steps in.

Highly trained therapists help kids struggling with speech, language, and reading for free.

"If you need the help, we'll provide it," Sarah Farr, Executive Director for RiteCare of Utah said.

It's something that parents like Teresa Nielsen are grateful for.

There's no way we could have afforded it otherwise," Nielsen, who brings two of her children to RiteCare of Utah said.

Her son, Cole has a speech delay and her daughter was behind in her reading.

She took her kids for testing, but couldn't figure out how to help them.

"I felt very alone," she said.

Her daughter's teacher didn't know how to help her, and her children were suffering socially.

"Her self-esteem really plummeted," she said of her daughter, Megan. "She would lie awake at night, telling me how she knew she wasn't the smart one in class."

There are thousands of kids in Utah schools that likely need help, and the school system simply can't help them all.

"They're unable to really serve the number of kids that come through," Farr said.

So RiteCare hopes to catch those who may be falling through the cracks, or may need extra therapy.

"It is our mission to provide that assistance to these families who are being turned away everywhere else, but still need help," Farr said.

Nielsen has seen a huge improvement in her kids' speech and reading skills.

"There's really not words to describe the happiness that it brings," she said.

RiteCare of Utah is a nonprofit organization that runs on grants and donations.

Mountain America Credit Union donated $500 to help more kids get therapy.

RiteCare of Utah doesn't have any income requirements and you don't have to be associated with the Scottish Rite Masons--who founded the organization--in order to get care.

For more information, visit the RiteCare of Utah website or Facebook page.