These days there is a growth in the number of parents who consult a speech therapist for their child or a loved one. But have you ever wondered what you should know before attending a speech assessment? If not, this post is dedicated to all of you out there who are ignorant of the process involved when taking your child/ an adult for speech therapy. So let us start….
I am sure by this time you know who is a speech therapist, but if you do not know we will tell you. A speech therapist is an amazing professional , who deals with any sort of speech, language or swallowing difficulties.
For example they will help to improve communication skills of children with Autism, ADHD, Delayed Speech, Apraxia of Speech, Down syndrome, Cerebal Palsy or adults who have Neurological conditions such as Aphasia, Dysarthriya… or ones who have voice problems or Fluency disorders such as stuttering…You name it!
During the initial assessment, your speech therapist/pathologist will ask information in detail about your child/ adults communication abilities. It is also known as taking the case history of the person. It is kind of an interview with a few questions, observation and sometimes they will use different test materials to get more details.
Here I am going talk about 5 things you must do before the speech assessment
1) Please be on time
Time is gold. So please make sure to be there on time for your speech assessment.
2) Bring all medical records
On your visit make sure to get all your child’s , his/her medical reports with you. This will help the speech therapist to find out, if there is any cause behind the problem.
3) Tell your expectations
When the speech therapist asks ” What is the reason you visited us today?” Please share your thoughts or why you have come to meet them and express your issues…so speech therapists will have a clear idea.
4) List it down before the speech assessment
If you can write down all the words he/she speaks. (If your child does not speak any word that is fine) Also make a note of what he/she can understand (Does not necessarily need to talk). The reason why I am telling you to write these is because then you would not miss any information during the assessment. If you are not sure of some answers please tell that you are not sure, so the speech therapist will make a note and check on it during the first therapy session. If he /she is attending school/ nursery bring their books with you. Those gives an idea of their academic skills.
5) Take an action
After the assessment , speech therapist will tell you what you need to do next. Make sure you clear all your doubts before you leave. What ever they recommend please fulfill it, because at the end it will help your child. If they recommend you to start speech therapy make sure you start speech therapy as soon possible.
Why is it so important to do a speech and language assessment? Because by looking at it as a speech language therapist we can understand the current communication situation or speech and language abilities of the child. First, those information will serve as a baseline and we as professionals will build the rest of their communication abilities depending on that. At a later point we can show the progress of the child..