Yesterday I discussed how to locate a Speech-Language Pathologist to evaluate your child’s speech and language skills. Today let’s discuss how to obtain and prepare for a speech language evaluation.
Steps to Preparing for Your Child’s Speech Language Evaluation
1. Determine if your medical insurance requires a referral for the assessment. If so, contact your pediatrician to voice your concerns and obtain a referral. Remember your child is NEVER too young to be evaluated. A Speech-Language Pathologist will use age specific formal and informal tests, to assess your child’s strengths and weaknesses.
2. Contact your insurance provider to request a list of Speech-Language Pathologists that are in-network to your specific medical insurance plan.
3. Schedule an evaluation with a provider. If you are concerned about a specialized area such as feeding/swallowing disorder, stuttering and voice, be sure to mention this when scheduling your child’s appointment. Based on the setting, there may be specific Speech-Language Pathologists who specialize in these areas.
4. Prepare for the appointment by making notes about your concerns and questions for the Speech-Language Pathologist.
5. If you have other children, arrange for childcare for them. This way you will be more focused on the speech language evaluation and there will be less distractions for your child during the appointment.
6. If your child stutters, make a video or voice recording of the stuttering events over the course of a couple of days. Bring this with you to the speech language evaluation.
7. If your child is school aged, speak with his or her teacher to discuss any concerns the teacher may have in regards to how your child’s speech and language skills are impacting academic success.
8. Attend the appointment with a well rested and well fed child, an open mind, and pen and paper to take notes. Depending on your child’s age, the evaluation will take one to two hours.
9. At the conclusion of the appointment, the SLP will review and discuss the test scores, observations, and recommendations. The clinician will also indicate if your child should or should not receive speech therapy services. If therapy is recommended, the Speech Language Pathologist will provide you with suggestions of therapists in your area. Contact these providers immediately, as some may have a wait list to begin therapy services.
If you have any questions in regards to locating or preparing for your child’s speech language evaluation, please leave me a comment below or find me on Facebook.