Here’s how to take the first steps to begin.

The Speech-Language Evaluation: Initial intake:

After you make contact with our office, a brief phone conversation will take place to give us an idea of what your concerns are for your child, inform us of previous evaluations and/or therapies your child has been a part of in the past, and schedule the initial evaluation.  You will then be sent some forms to fill out and return prior to the evaluation.

On the day of evaluation: Consultation & Assessments:

Paperwork Review & Behavioral Observation:  Review submitted paperwork (e.g. case history, etc.).  This discussion between parent and SLP also allows your child to get comfortable with the examiner and new environment without having the spotlight on him/her in those first few minutes.  The therapist will be making observations of your child at all times while speaking with you to ensure we get the best information about your child’s performance.

Oral Motor Assessment: The next activity to help your child ease into testing is snack time.  We really want your child to be as comfortable as possible by the time we do any testing, and who isn’t motivated by someone giving them food!  This will be food that you bring from home.  While your child eats, the SLP is observing his/her oral-motor skills.  The mouth muscles used for eating are the same ones used for talking.  We like to assess how your child’s mouth moves during non-speech tasks to differentiate between purposeful and non-purposeful oral movements.

Formal Assessment: This will involve administration of a standardized assessment(s) to see how your child’s speech-language skills measure up to other children his/her age.  It will include articulation assessment, and a receptive and expressive language assessment.  It may also include other tests based on the specific areas of concern for your child were (e.g. stuttering, processing disorder, etc.)

Conclusion: Your SLP will will review her preliminary findings with you about your child’s performance and make recommendations on whether to pursue ongoing treatment based on those findings.  Additional evaluations may be recommended if there were concerns identified during this session that fall out of the scope of practice for a SLP (e.g. Ear Nose Throat doctor, Occupational Therapist, etc.)