A speech and language evaluation will clearly identify areas of strength and weakness, as well as, provide the child’s skill level and age-based competency.
At I.PL.C. each evaluation is personalized through an in depth process of gathering the necessary information through case history filled out by caregiver, interview with the parents, caregiver, and/or others actively involved in the child’s life, and formal and informal testing completed.
Your child’s first visit to the speech-language pathologist will usually consist of three parts:
You are the best expert on your child. Therefore, a formal evaluation usually begins with the speech-language pathologist getting to know more about your child’s history, skills, and your concerns via parent interview. The information you provide in this interview will be vital to creating your child's individualized treatment plan. This time will also give your child a chance to warm-up to a new person and a new environment. To be prepared, you should take some time before the visit to write down some of the following information:
Medical History - Complications during pregnancy or during birth; results of newborn hearing screening or other hearing testing; names and contact information for your pediatrician or other specialists your child has seen (include any previous reports or contact information for any other speech-language pathologist your child has seen – privately, through early intervention, or through the school district); any family history of speech, language, hearing, or learning problems;
history of ear infections or fluid in the ears
Developmental Milestones - When did your child first babble? Sit up? Crawl? Walk? Say their first words? etc.
Feeding - When did your child transitioned to baby foods? What are foods your child eats and foods they avoid? Does your child have any difficulty with chewing and/or swallowing?
Concerns - How would you or others describe your concerns?
Strengths - Don’t forget to think about your child’s strengths, too. If your child is particularly good at communicating with certain people, about certain topics, using gestures instead of words, etc. Make sure to share this information as well. These will come in handy in therapy down the line.
The actual evaluation will include two types of testing: indirect and direct. Indirect testing may often look more like play and informal conversation than an evaluation, but the speech-language pathologist is actually using this time to learn more about how your child communicates in real-life situations. Direct testing is more structured and may involve your child doing things such pointing to pictures in a testing manual, naming items, or answering questions. The therapist will generally have to continue with direct testing until the child answers a certain number questions in a row incorrectly, so don’t worry if your child isn’t getting every question right. Many children will have to answer questions that are actually for children older than them before the SLP can stop testing.
Reviewing Results and Treatment Plan
Initial results and interpretation of the evaluation are discussed the day of the evaluation. Concerns and questions are also answered at that time. Based on the results of the evaluation, a therapy program will be developed for your child and recommendations for frequency of therapy will be made. Speech therapy can then address these areas of weakness and close the gap, with the goal of advancing your child’s speech to the age-appropriate range.
We are happy to correspond with your referring physician(s) and/or other requested professionals within 24 hours of the assessment.
Have any questions? Ready to make an appointment?