Speech Therapy Assessment
Speech Therapy Assessment:
Your child has been referred for a speech-language evaluation. The evaluation will be completed by certified speech-language pathologist (SLP for short). Speech-language pathologists have graduated from an accredited program, hold a master’s degree and a certificate of clinical competence (CCC) from ASHA (American Speech and Hearing Association).
In general, speech-language pathologists are interested in how your child communicates with you, their teachers and their peers and how well they understand and process information they hear. Although people often think of speech and language as the same thing, they have very different meanings. Speech refers to the verbal means of communicating and language refers to the way we express messages and the way we understand messages from others.
When an SLP evaluates your child’s speech they are looking at these four areas:
- Articulation- the way we say our speech sounds
- Phonology- the way a child understands how sounds go together to make words
- Fluency- also known as stuttering or the smoothness of a child’s speech as he/she talks in words
- Voice- the way the voice sounds, such as hoarseness or hypernasal
When an SLP evaluates your child’s language they are looking at these three areas:
- Receptive Language- is there difficulty understanding language
- Expressive Language- is there difficulty in using language
- Pragmatic Language- social communication, the way we speak to each other
Other areas a speech language pathologist will evaluate are your child’s hearing, oral motor skills and need for augmentative communication. A speech-language pathologist along with occupational therapist can also evaluate and treat your child’s feeding and swallowing difficulties.
Your child’s particular assessment will be determined based on the information you provide to the therapists and will most likely include observation of play – both structured and unstructured, an interview with parents, and may or may not include standardized testing.