Speech Disorder Evaluation
A speech disorder evaluation is necessary before beginning any speech/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
Every speech disorder evaluation will vary depending on the child's age, areas of concern, and the providing speech language pathologist. However, there are some common testing options that most speech pathologists follow.They include:
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
- 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 productions. Most tests follow a similar pattern)
- Evaluate how a child produces each phoneme (sound) at the syllable, word, and sentence level.
- Production of each phoneme in the beginning, middle, and end of a word at each level described above is assessed.
- Asses stimulability for errors. This will help with the goal writing process.
- 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.
- Observe a child's speech in various settings such as home, classroom, and/or recess.
Results of a speech disorder evaluation may result in:
- 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 audiologist or ENT if needed
If your child has been diagnosed with a speech disorder, don't panic. You got this!
My recommended plan:
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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