SLPfeatured

What to Expect in a Pediatric Speech and Language Evaluation

The purpose of a speech and language evaluation is to determine your child’s strengths and challenges related to a variety of areas and conclude if therapy would be beneficial in further developing skills and aiding his/her ability to communicate effectively with SLPmainothers. Parents may request an evaluation if they have concerns, or children may be referred by a pediatrician, teacher, or after a developmental screening. While it may vary across settings, the following is a general outline of what you can expect from a formal speech and language evaluation.

  • Background and Developmental Information: Upon beginning the process, most facilities will request information regarding your child’s early developmental history. This will include things such as birth history, age milestones were met, and significant medical history. If your child has previously participated in therapy or related developmental/educational evaluations, providing copies of these reports to your therapist will be extremely beneficial in helping develop the whole picture of your child. In some settings, the therapist will obtain information from your child’s teacher regarding challenges specifically related to classroom learning and peer relationships.
  • Caregiver Interview: An essential portion of the evaluation will be information provided by the child’s family. The therapist will guide a discussion regarding your major concerns, what you would like to achieve by participating in the evaluation, and goals you might have for your child. The therapist may ask for specific examples of times you’ve noticed these challenges, thoughts about your child’s awareness toward the issue, and other questions to develop an overall understanding of how your child is communicating. Depending on the age of the child, he/she may participate in the interview portion to share feelings and thoughts on the area of difficulty, and what he/she would like to accomplish. Based on the background information provided and the caregiver interview, the therapist will choose assessment tool(s) to evaluate the area(s) of concern.
  • Assessment and Observation of the Child: Initially the therapist will spend time talking and/or playing with your child to develop rapport and make observations based on how he/she interacts and communicates in an unstructured setting. Then, your child will participate in assessments that may include:
    • Oral motor assessment to observe the structures of the face and mouth at rest and while speaking, as well as oral musculature and motor planning of oral movements.
    • Standardized assessment of the area(s) of concern (not an exhaustive list)
      • Expressive (what he/she produces) language and/or Receptive (what he/she understands) language
      • Speech production and fluency of speech
      • Pragmatic or social language
      • Feeding and Swallowing
      • Reading/Writing skills
  • Evaluation Report: The therapist will then compile all of the information gathered from the family, observations, and assessments and summarize it in a formal report. It will include a description of each area of assessment and its findings. Based on the results, the therapist will determine if therapy is necessary and if so, develop a plan for treatment. Specific goals to target the areas of need and a time frame for doing so will be included in the report.

Meet-With-A-Speech-Pathologist
NSPT offers services in BucktownEvanstonHighland ParkLincolnwoodGlenview, Lake Bluff and Des Plaines. If you have questions or concerns about your child, we would love to help! Give us a call at (877) 486-4140 and speak to one of our Family Child Advocates today!

Emily Robin

Emily Robin

Emily Robin, MS CCC-SLP, is a pediatric Speech Language Pathologist. She received her education at both the Bachelor’s and Master’s level at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. She has experience working with children of needs in several domains of the field including speech, language, feeding, social skills, fluency, and hearing impairment. Emily loves to speak Spanish and practice her sign language skills. She is eager to continue her education, especially in the area of feeding and swallowing. Emily previously worked at Northwestern Lake Forest Hospital where she provided pediatric outpatient treatment as well as inpatient care to infants in the Special Care Nursery and Pediatric Unit. Emily is a member of the American Speech Language Hearing Association. She is certified in the Early Intervention Program, the Orton Gillingham approach to reading and writing, and is a certified trainer of the Handle With Care behavior management system.

More Posts - Website

4 replies
  1. Tara Jones says:

    My husband and I are concerned that our son has delayed speech development so we want to find a speech therapist so they can evaluate him. Is this the kind of thing where we need to be referred by his pediatrician or can we just find a therapist and request an evaluation on our own? Also, thank you for talking about all the information (about milestones, medical history, etc.) that we will need to prepare to bring for the evaluation.

    Reply
    • Emily Robin says:

      Thanks for reaching out! It depends on what insurance policy you have, as well as where you decide to have the evaluation completed. For example, many PPO plans do not require a referral from a pediatrician for speech, however HMOs do. Our insurance department would be happy to provide you with more information regarding your particular policy and what would be needed to get the process started! I’m so glad to hear that my blog was helpful for your family!
      Emily

      Reply
  2. Audrey Kinley says:

    I never knew that they give an interview for the caregiver. At first, when I read it I thought that it was a bit strange, but I guess it really does connect to how the child acts. My little sister had to be put through pediatric therapy and she loved it.

    Reply
  3. jresquival says:

    Thanks for this list of points a speech therapist might go over in an evaluation. It makes sense that a big part of this evaluation would be a caregiver interviewer. My 3 year old is really shy; could that be a speech problem?

    Reply

Leave a Reply

Want to join the discussion?
Feel free to contribute!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

*