The therapist will perform a physical exam of your child's face and mouth, evaluate your child's ability to communicate, speak, speak clearly, express thoughts, follow instructions, interact with others, and understand the things that are being said to him. Before the speech and language therapy evaluation, you will be asked to complete the documentation. This documentation could include administrative documentation, such as office policies and procedures and the HIPPA privacy notice. It should also include an initial medical history form and possible surveys for parents or schools to complete.
The medical history will help the doctor get an idea of your child's overall development. The medical history allows the therapist to learn more about your child's medical history, developmental history, communication problems, school history, and treatment history.
The word “evaluation” can seem intimidating, especially for parents and children who have never before undergone a pediatric speech therapy evaluation.Before the speech therapy evaluation, you will likely receive documents to complete about your child's history, concerns, and insurance information. During a comprehensive speech and language evaluation, the speech therapist will analyze the child's speech and phonology skills, oral motor skills, language comprehension, language expression, voice and fluency skills, and social skills.
The speech and language therapy evaluation can last an hour, several hours, or even several therapy sessions, depending on your child's communication problems, age, and cognitive level. The actual content of speech therapy sessions varies greatly from patient to patient due to different capacities and objectives, but most patients visit the clinic once or twice a week for about an hour. During the evaluation, the speech/language therapist also evaluates your child informally through observation and play. Finally, the therapist can examine the inside of your child's mouth to ensure that all the structures needed for speech and communication are intact and working properly.
After the evaluation, the speech therapist will share their results and recommendations with you, even if you think your child could benefit from speech therapy. After the speech evaluation, you will have a waiting period to begin treatment, and if you need a specific location, the wait may be longer. Speech and language pathologists (SLP) can help do much more than produce sounds correctly. Sometimes, children have a low or increased tone, a short lingual frenulum (the “loop” that attaches the tongue to the bottom of the mouth), or other physical factors that may contribute to or be responsible for speech deficits.
Speech/language therapy is provided by a licensed speech pathologist in an individual or group setting. During a therapy session, the speech therapist will work directly with your child to develop communication skills. The speech therapist will have chosen in advance a formal and standardized evaluation tool based on the diagnosis presented and the concerns.