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  • Writer's pictureMaura Ambrose

PREPARING FOR A SPEECH SOUND & LANGUAGE EVALUATION

Have you received a referral from your doctor for your child to have an evaluation? Most people aren’t sure exactly what that means, what they need to do, or how to prepare. You are not alone!

IGNITE IS HERE TO HELP!

We understand how defeating it is when concerns are raised about your child’s development. You spend each day trying to teach them all they need to know, but some things just aren’t sticking.

You see other people’s children reciting their alphabet, putting puzzles together, and using sign language.


Meanwhile, you’ve been exhaustively singing the ABC’s on repeat, showing your child how to put the Melissa and Doug puzzles together and watching Youtube videos on baby sign language. Yet, your little one is not doing any of those things.

If this is you, it would be no surprise that heading into an evaluation for the first time would be intimidating.


We want you to know, you are doing an amazing job raising your child. There is truly no “right” way to teach your child, and your love and care for them is more than enough!


An evaluation is not meant to be a judgment of your parenting, or a way to focus on your child’s shortcomings. Every child develops in their own unique way. The evaluation will help your child’s Speech-Language Pathologist determine how your child learns best, and what barriers may be preventing them from advancing their speech and language skills.


THE SPEECH SOUND & LANGUAGE EVALUATION IS AN EVALUATION OF YOUR CHILD'S:

  • Speech sound production (sounds they make).

  • Receptive language (how well they understand).

  • Expressive language (how they use words, gestures, etc to express themself).

THE EVALUATION WILL ALSO INCLUDE THE SLP OBSERVING HOW YOUR CHILD:

  • Plays by themself and with you

  • Participates in activities

  • Transitions from one activity to the next

An evaluation is just a snapshot of your child, and we know that there may be skills your child can do, but does not demonstrate during the evaluation. We also know that there may be factors that are out of our control that impact how your child performs on evaluation day. We do not expect perfection from you or your child.


HERE ARE THE TOP 4 WAYS YOU CAN PREPARE FOR YOUR CHILD'S SPEECH SOUND & LANGUAGE EVALUATION:

  1. Try to schedule the evaluation at a time when your child is well-rested and has eaten.

  2. If able, gather pediatrician notes, medical specialist notes (e.g. ENT, allergy, GI), school/daycare input, outside therapy notes (PT, OT, SLP), and any other documentation or anecdotes that may be relevant to your child’s speech and language development.

  3. Gather a handful of your child’s preferred toys/activities and books that can be used during the observation period, as well as during breaks in testing. Place these in a handy location, but try to keep them out of sight until they are needed (e.g. high up on a table, in a sealed toy bin or diaper bag, etc.)

  4. Select a room/area for the evaluation, and minimize distractions:

    • Remove excess toys.

    • Turn off the TV and put high-tech devices out of sight (cell phones included!).

    • Crate or gate off your pets outside the room.

    • Get a babysitter for siblings if you are able. It is okay if this is not an option for you!

    • Plan some quiet activities for siblings if needed (e.g. coloring, books, blocks).

Keep in mind the most important thing to do is schedule the appointment! We are flexible and can figure out how to maximize our time together during your child’s evaluation, regardless of how prepared you are.


We cannot wait to meet your family, and we look forward to joining your child’s “village” so that they can become as independent and resilient as possible!

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