In fact, an SLP evaluation determines if a person has any communication disorders, speech and language disorders, swallowing disorders, or eating disorders. Information is collected from different sources to fully understand the individual's speech pathology needs and determine the best course of treatment. An SLP evaluation can include formal and informal evaluation measures. Formal measures are standardized evaluation tools that have been used as a regulatory reference in populations similar to those of your client.
These evaluations help determine how your client compares to their peers of the same age when it comes to communication tasks. If the child has difficulty speaking, the SLP will also perform an oral motor exam. This is done to determine if the child's speech difficulties can be attributed to a structural or neurological component. The SLP will examine your child's mouth with a light and a tongue depressant.
They will assess if your oral anatomical structure is typical (teeth, tongue, palate, tonsils, veil, uvula) and take notes. For example, sometimes a speech-language pathologist (SLP) will be the first to discover that your child has a submucosal cleft, which could be the cause of his resonance problems (for example, when you call a speech therapist (SLP) to schedule an appointment, he will usually schedule a phone call with you before the evaluation. For example, given this image, the SLP would say: “Point to the first X, then point to the last square, and then the child must point to the corresponding images in the given order. The CELF-P2 consists of seven subtests.
Often, SLPs will administer the three main subtests (sentence structure, word structure, and expressive vocabulary) to generate a basic language score. For example, given this image, the SLP would first label each image as “hand, foot, belt” and would ask the child “tell me which are the two that best go together. During the informal evaluation portion, the SLP will also make informal observations about other cognitive areas (attention, executive functioning, motor, memory) while interacting with your child. Children are simply presented with images along with a verbal label presented by the SLP and asked to point to the corresponding image in a field of 4 images to measure their understanding of the vocabulary (that is, often, SLPs only administer the Sounds in words section and use their spontaneous voice sample to analyze the conversation).
Whether you're conducting a comprehensive evaluation of the SLP or informally gathering information with subtests, standardized evaluations are an important part of private practice. For example, given this image, the SLP would first label each image as “crayon, pencil, strawberry” and would ask the child: “Tell me the two words that go together.” Faced with this image, the SLP would ask: “Point out: the bear is in the cart”, and then the child has to point to the corresponding image in a field of 4 images to choose from. There are three phases in the swallowing process, the SLP will determine which phase is altered and will implement an appropriate action plan. The child is shown a variety of images and then answers the SLP questions or fills in the blanks.
The SLP reads a passage aloud to the child and then asks comprehension questions about the story he just heard. The child must also rely on their working memory, since they have no visual support for this task.