What to Expect at an Initial Evaluation
At The Speech Spot, we know that it is not easy to bring your child in for a speech and language evaluation. You may be feeling nervous, overwhelmed, or confused by the concerns you have and the results you may receive. With this in mind, we strive to make your child's evaluation informative, engaging, and maybe even fun. Each therapists goal is to make you and your child feel comfortable and welcome in our office. We've worked hard to select toys, games, assessments, and therapy materials to accommodate a variety of ages and needs. Each evaluation is approached individually and with your child in mind, so you can be confident with the results and treatment plan if necessary.
Based upon your initial phone consultation with your therapist, they will select the proper assessment tools to address your child's speech and language concerns. During an evaluation, your child will participate in both direct and indirect assessments. Indirect assessments will look more like play and conversation. However during this time, the speech therapist is observing and noting how your child communicates naturally. Direct assessments are more structured and involve your child looking at pictures, following directions, naming items, and answering questions. These assessments can be challenging and lengthy, so we always encourage children to just do their best.
In addition to the direct and indirect assessments completed with your child, you will be asked to fill out a social history form detailing their developmental history. This form is a vital part to the evaluation process as it gives the therapist a look into your child's developmental and medical history. These forms can be filled out in advance and brought with you to the appointment along with any additional documents from your child's school (IEP's) or doctor's office.
Most evaluations take under two hours to complete, but if your child begins to fatigue, testing may be discontinued and a follow up session will be scheduled. Once testing is completed, your therapist will review with you some observations made during the assessment. However, complete results and scores may not be available at that time. Within a week, you will receive results and determine the next steps with your therapist, if any.
We encourage parents to ask questions regarding the evaluation process or the preliminary results. Our goal is to educate and empower parents about their child's diagnosis and provide strategies and ideas for the home, school, or daycare environment. We believe that parents are a child's greatest teacher and are a vital part to the therapy process. Parental involvement and support are strong factors to a child's overall success and progress in therapy.
The initial evaluation process can be overwhelming. Maybe you are hesitant to put your child through a lengthy evaluation, or you are thinking that your concern is too small to warrant a full evaluation (speech norms chart). However, early intervention is key to minimizing your child's therapy requirements and keeping them on track.
The first step towards gaining clarity is a phone call to The Speech Today!