The assessment process begins with a phone consultation to gather information and discuss your concerns. The assessment session with parent and child will involve observations during play/ conversation, informal and/or formal assessment and typically takes 1.5 hours. This may be spread out over 2 sessions if appropriate.
A full written report is provided following every complete screening/ assessment and includes a full list of strategies and links to resources (where appropriate). A follow up phone call will then be arranged to discuss findings and a plan of action will be discussed. Depending on results, this may involve a block of therapy or provision of a home programme.
Speech and language therapy assessments will vary depending on the individual. An assessment may be:
Phonological Awareness (Literacy) Screening
Comprehensive Speech and Language Assessment
What's the difference?
Speech refers to the sounds that are made in the process of speaking (e.g. f, k, r). Speech errors are generally categorised as either articulation (difficulty with individiual sounds) or phonological errors (patterns of errors).
Language refers to our ability to understand (receptive language) and respond (expressive language) to others. Difficulties may occur in either or both of these areas with or without co-occuring speech errors.
Stuttering occurs when the flow of speech is interrupted by repeating certain syllables, words or phrases, prolonging them or stopping (making no sound). Cluttering is a fluency disorder that is characterised by a rapid and/or irregular speaking rate, excessive disfluencies, and often other symptoms such as language or phonological errors and attention deficits.
In early school years, literacy in children focuses on ‘phonological awareness’. The ability to break words up into sounds and blend sounds into words, forms the basis of reading and spelling ability. Strong phonological awareness skills are foundation to sound literacy development.
Individuals who have severe expressive communication disorders often use Alternative Augmentative Communication systems to convey messages including basic needs and wants. AAC can be roughly divided into two categories; unaided (sign, gesture, body language) and aided (visuals, communication books or software). A communication assessment will help determine which approach is best suited to your child.