Has your child been diagnosed with a communication, feeding or swallowing disorder? If so, they may be referred for an evaluation with a speech therapist.
On the fence about speech therapy? Consider this: One study found that, “An average of 6 hours of speech and language therapy in a 6-month period can produce significant improvement in performance, and it has been shown to be more effective than no treatment over the same 6-month period for children with primary speech and/or language impairment.”
Below we review everything you need to know to help you prepare for your child’s evaluation with a speech therapist.
What to Bring
Your child’s speech therapist will likely send home some intake paperwork for you to fill out, including a case history form detailing their medical history and a communication rating score. Be sure to bring all of this completed paperwork to the evaluation. In addition, you should bring:
- Contact information and feedback from the referring physician.
- List of words or sounds your child has trouble with.
- List of scenarios when your child has a hard time communicating or being understood, like ABC Great Beginnings.
- Audio or video recording of your child speaking.
- Toy or object that comforts your child.
- Snack or drink your child enjoys.
- Any questions you have for the speech therapist.
What to Expect
During the evaluation, your child’s speech therapist will likely evaluate your child’s:
- Receptive communication: Their understanding of words and language.
- Expressive communication: Their use of spoken language to express intention, thoughts, needs and wants.
- Augmentative and alternative communication: All forms of communication used to express intention, thoughts, needs and wants.
- Play interactions: Their joint interactions with familiar and unfamiliar people and objects.
- Pragmatic skills: Their ability to communicate functionally and socially.
- Fluency: The rhythm, speed and repetitive sounds of speech.
- Voice: The characteristics of their voice, including quality, loudness and intonation.
- Feeding and swallowing: Their ability to chew and swallow food and drinks, along with any difficulties or anatomical abnormalities.
For more information on pediatric speech disorders or to schedule an appointment, call South Valley Ear Nose & Throat today.