A speech-language evaluation is a comprehensive examination of your child’s speech and language skills. Speech evaluations are conducted by a Speech-Language Pathologist (SLP), who is a Masters-level, certified clinician.
Speech-language evaluations allow the SLP to determine if your child is using age-appropriate speech and language skills and determine whether speech therapy is warranted or not.
What to Expect
After scheduling a speech-language evaluation with Charlotte Speech and Hearing Center, you will complete our intake paperwork. This paperwork includes questions regarding your child’s medical history, family and biographical information, and speech development and milestone information. This information helps our SLPs to determine your areas of concern and which types of evaluations your child may need.
During the Evaluation
During your appointment, our Speech-Language Pathologist will invite you and your child back to her/his office to perform the evaluation. Our SLP will ask questions about your child’s communication, language, and overall development and then engage with your child. Although it may look like our SLP is simply playing with your child, she/he is actually asking questions, giving directions, and observing how your child responds.
Your help is key during this evaluation! You can help our SLP to identify which skills your child does and does not have. This is especially helpful if your child doesn’t want to show off all her/his skills during the appointment.
Areas of Evaluation
Speech-language evaluations typically take 1-2 hours and include several key tests depending on the area of concern. Here are the things our Speech-Language Pathologists are looking at:
Articulation/Speech Sound Production: If your main concern is how your child is speaking/saying sounds, our SLP will conduct an articulation evaluation. If your child is difficult to understand compared to his/her peers, or if you notice certain sounds that your child is unable to make compared to most children his/her age, our SLP will perform this test.
Expressive and Receptive Language: If your concerns are in regard to your child’s language skills, we will perform an expressive and receptive language evaluation. Some reasons for this test include: not forming complete and full sentences for their age, has difficulty following directions, has a hard time understanding what people are saying, and has difficulty answering questions.
Fluency: If your main and only concern is that your child is stuttering, our SLP would provide a fluency evaluation.
Augmentative and Alternative Communication: AAC is a range of strategies that help those who struggle with speech to communicate in a way other than talking. Augmentative and alternative communication evaluations are used to determine eligibility for an Augmentative and Alternative Communication Device (such as a laptop or tablet) or other appropriate device. These evaluations are recommended depending on your child’s unique speech and language needs, history in speech therapy, and age.
Hearing: Lastly, if appropriate, your SLP may suggest a hearing evaluation for your child. Our expert Audiologists can provide this evaluation in our clinic.
A combination of two or more of these evaluations is possible if your child exhibits difficulty in more than one area.
Following the Evaluation
Following the speech-language evaluation, our Speech-Language Pathologist will discuss her/his findings and make recommendations. If it is recommended that your child begin speech therapy, our SLP will develop a plan of care, that includes the number of times per week therapy is recommended as well as what skills we will be targeting. All of this information will be discussed in detail with you. Additionally, our team will work with you to find times that best fit your schedule.