Speech Disorder Evaluation

A speech disorder evaluation is necessary before beginning any speech or articulation therapy program. The purpose of the evaluation is to determine if a disorder even exists, and if so, to create an individualized treatment plan based on the results. 

Evaluation for Speech Sound Disorders

Speech Disorder Evaluation Options

Extensive case history (this one is HUGE)

  • Review of previous medical records
  • Questionnaire for parents on development and concerns
  • Interview with teachers and parents to gather relevant concerns

Oral mechanism examination

  • Asses structure and function of articulators

Hearing Testing

  • Provided by an audiologist
  • Rules out hearing loss as a confounding factor

Evaluation of Production of Speech Sounds

There are many standardized tests that provide standards scores for speech sound production. Most tests follow a similar pattern outlined below.

  • Evaluate how a child produces each phoneme (sound) at the syllable, word, and sentence level.
  • It assesses production of each phoneme in the beginning, middle, and end of a word.
  • Asses stimulability for errors. This will help with the goal writing process.

Language Sampling

  • Elicit and record a language sample.
  • Language samples provide assessment for errors at the connected speech level in a more natural setting.
  • Language sampling does not provide a standard score, but it provides invaluable information about a child's true ability.

Formal Observations

  • Observe a child's speech in various settings such as home, classroom, and/or recess.


Results of a speech disorder evaluation may cause: 

  • Diagnosis of a speech disorder: articulation disorder, phonological processing disorder, dysarthria, and/or apraxia
  • Standard scores which provide severity of disorder
  • Characteristics of disorder across settings
  • Individualized treatment plan: therapy goals and/or home strategies
  • Referral to other professionals such as an audiologist or ENT if needed

Next Steps

If your child has a speech disorder, don't panic.

My recommended plan:

Other pages you might be interested in

Articulation Therapy

Speech Evaluations


Phonological Disorder

Bridget is an ASHA certified, practicing speech-language pathologist. She is passionate about providing parents with information on child speech and language development as well as provide functional, easy activities to do at home! Parents have the power to make a real difference. Follow Bridget at Facebook and Pinterest for more fun!

Author of  child language development eBook series

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