speech language evaluation

What to Expect at a Speech-Language Screening

 

 

 

When parents first become concerned with their child’s speech or language development, a screening can be a good step to determine if a child will warrant a full speech-language evaluation.  Speech screenings can be informal or formal.  Here is what to expect at  each type of speech-language evaluation.

Speech-Language screenings can take on two forms-formal or informal:

Informal Screening:

• Lasts approximately 15 minutes
• Can take the form of a conversation with a licensed speech-language
Pathologist (SLP)
• May involve some play-based activities
• Often involves observation during peer interactions
• SLP may ask child age-appropriate questions to determine abilities for
answering questions, forming sentences, and articulation
• There is no formal protocol to follow
• There is always a parent meeting with the therapist after the screening to make recommendations

Formal Screening:

• Lasts approximately 15 minutes
• Often has a criterion check list of skills
• Will look at speech and language production
• May have images for child to name or fill-in-the-blank sentences
• Usually has questions for child to answer
• There is always a parent meeting with the therapist after the screening to make recommendations

Screenings can be a great tool to determine if a child warrants a full speech-language evaluation. A screening alone is not diagnostically reliable and should only be used as a tool to decide if an evaluation is necessary. A licensed speech-language pathologist will not make goals about ongoing therapy until an evaluation is completed, however, after both formal and informal screenings, an SLP will meet with parents to create a plan for the next step: either conduct an evaluation or decide that the child is on track with speech and language and wait 3-6 months before screening again!

Click here to view our Speech and Language Milestones Infographic!

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