Your child was referred to a speech-language pathologist for an evaluation. Evaluation is key in determining the speech-language areas that need addressing. But now what? How should you prepare your child? What are the speech-language pathologists evaluating? What will the evaluation tell me?
Make sure that your child gets a solid night's sleep and is well-fed before the evaluation. An alert and nourished child is better able to focus on the task at hand and not be distracted. Bring any paperwork or documents from your child's teachers or other therapists that can assist the evaluator.
Common Evaluation Areas
- Language Development Delays/Disorders. Deficits that may prevent speech from being produced at all, or result in speech that cannot be understood or is abnormal in some other way.
- Social-Pragmatic Language Disorder. A primary deficit in the social use of nonverbal and verbal communication
- Articulation Disorders. Deficits in the production of individual speech sounds, or sequences of speech sounds, caused by inadequate planning, control, or coordination of the structures of the oral mechanism.
- Oral Motor and Feeding Disorders. Issues with swallowing or refusal to eat foods because of textures, solids, liquids, etc.
- Fluency Disorder. Repetition of sounds, syllables, or words; prolongation of sounds; and interruptions in speech known as blocks.
- Dyspraxia. A disorder characterized by an impairment in the ability to plan and carry out sensory and motor tasks.
- Dysarthria. A condition in which the muscles you use for speech are weak or you have difficulty controlling them.
The results of the evaluation will pinpoint the area/s of weakness and be the catalyst for an action plan. Individual and/or group therapy will likely be suggested. Speech-language issues are common in children, but proper treatment effectively manages, improves, or even eliminates the area of issue.
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