Speech And Language Assessment: What To Expect From Your Speech Pathologist


By Simone Hui

So you are about to bring your child to see a speech pathologist. Maybe it’s your first time seeing a speech pathologist and you don’t know what to expect. Don’t worry! Here are some common questions or things speech pathologists might ask or do during an initial appointment.

1- The Parent Interview

Speech pathologists will usually begin by conducting a caregiver interview. Your input provides a better understanding of your child.

Share your concerns with your speech pathologist and some of your observations at home. Details really help since you spend most of the time with your child and you know your child best.

  1. Provide specific examples of how your child usually communicate, for example using gestures, single words, short phrases or sentences.
  2. In terms of the child’s understanding, is your child able to follow instructions?
  3. Relay how your child communicates with other people in different contexts, for example at kindergarten.
  4. What are the language(s) spoken at home
  5. When did your child hit their developmental milestones (e.g. first babble, first word and when did they start putting two words together).
  6. Any past medical history (e.g. ear infections),
  7. Family history of speech or language difficulties.

2. Interaction with your child

During the initial appointment, the speech pathologist will spend time interacting with your child through engaging them in play or other activities.

This helps with rapport building and allows the speech pathologist to observe your child’s joint attention, play skills and social interaction.

3. Formal assessments

Depending on the time, your speech pathologist may conduct formal or within session observations with a variety of dynamic tests, or a mix of both to evaluate your child’s language and speech.

Assessments take time!

It may take up to two to three sessions to complete.

4. Goals

Last but not least, your speech pathologist will also ask what goals you would like to achieve in a certain timeframe.

This is especially important because it facilitates goal setting and it also helps us to track progress down the track.

5. Report and feedback

Your speech pathologist will then write up a report that includes your child’s assessment results, as well as their recommendations. This is necessary so that other professionals can have a clear understanding of the findings and recommendations.

The assessing speech pathologist will then provide feedback to you so that you 1. understand the results and 2. understand the recommendations and 3. understand who we may refer you to, and why.

The assessment process is extremely crucial to your child’s speech and language therapy journey. And Speech Ease endeavours to provide thorough findings and recommendations to you to guide therapy.

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