Diagnostic Evaluation (1-3 hours)
The following is a description of a “Special Circumstances Evaluation.” This is presented as a financial option exclusively for parents or patients who do not need a formal evaluation report.
Requirement: The patient must already have a recent (within 6 months) speech and language diagnosis from a practicing speech-language pathologist.
The “Diagnostic evaluation” will consist of 1 to 3 hour sessions which are part evaluation time and part therapy time. At the conclusion of this period, we will prepare a “treatment plan” in written form. We will debrief you via a phone call or a courtesy ½ hour conference on the meaning of our findings and the appropriate recommendations for the clinical course of action.
If you would like a formal report, one may be provided at the cost of $157.00 per hour of writing time. Typically these short reports require 60-90 minutes to write.
Full Scale Comprehensive Speech & Language Evaluation
Includes: one to two or more evaluation sessions, as needed, detailed formal report & follow-up conference to discuss results/recommendations.
Full Scale Comprehensive Speech Evaluation
Assessment of articulation, voice and/or fluency, only. Includes: one to two or more evaluation sessions, as needed, detailed formal report & follow-up conference to discuss results/recommendations.
Standard Speech & Language Evaluation
Includes one to two or more evaluation sessions, as needed, assessment summary of tests and scores, & phone follow-up consult to discuss results/recommendations.
Standard Speech Evaluation
Assessment of articulation or voice. Includes one to two evaluation sessions, as needed, assessment summary of tests and scores & phone follow-up consult to discuss results/recommendations.
If Written Reports are not included in your package, we can provide one at our normal billing rate quoted the time of arrangement. Report writing not to exceed (3) three hours. Payment is due when the report is delivered
Speech-Language Evaluations For Adults
If you are an adult, you may have been referred for a speech-language evaluation by your doctor. For example, you may have had a stroke or brain injury. Perhaps you were diagnosed with a neurological disorder such as Parkinson’s disease or multiple sclerosis? Certain medical conditions contribute to speech and/or language issues. Maybe you, a friend, or a family member noticed a changed in your speech? Perhaps you had a speech or language issue since childhood and decided you want to try to make a change in your speech, language or social interaction skills (sometimes called social pragmatics) for self-improvement reasons.
An adult speech-language evaluation involves targeting the condition(s) for which you were referred. Testing begins with a phone call to you to discuss why you were referred and the main problems. In the assessment, we will further explore your feelings and questions about the condition and get to know you better so we can understand how the communication deficit is impacting your life and what you would like to achieve. We also have you fill out a questionnaire prior to the assessment so we have a comprehensive picture of your history to help us know you better. Actual testing may involve use of pictures, objects, stories, reading, writing, drawing, copying, questions, conversation, and other means to assess your skills. Skills tested may range from articulation, voice and fluency to receptive and expressive language, memory, and social communication.
Speech Production includes articulation, voice, and fluency. We may first do an oral mechanism examination to look at the structure and function of your speech structures (e.g., tongue, lips, jaw, teeth, and palate). Articulation assessment includes identifying any problems you may have pronouncing sounds, any patterns to sound errors, and overall intelligibility. We may also assess your voice (i.e., quality, loudness, pitch, resonance, and pitch) and fluency (how fluid you speak). In fluency, we look for signs of stuttering or cluttering.
Receptive and expressive language involves how well you understand what you hear and express yourself (from ability to retrieve the right words to forming sentences and having a conversation). Language assessment may include reading and writing and how well you process and use nonverbal language (e.g. gestures, facial expression, body language, proxemics, and vocal tone). Assessment of cognitive skills include areas such as attention, concentration, memory, reasoning, organization skills, and problem solving.
Speech-Language Evaluations For Children
Many people want to know why their child was referred for a speech and language evaluation and what an evaluation is like. There are many professionals who may do the initial referral, such as a pediatrician or teacher. Maybe you or a family member or friend noticed a possible problem in speech or language development? Regardless of why you were referred, it can be a time of worry and concern. We are very sensitive to parents who are reaching out to have their child assessed.
We will talk with you initially over the phone to gather information on why you were referred and what your initial concerns are. We will also answer any of your questions and provide you with education about the issues that brought you to the clinic and the assessment process. You will also fill out a questionnaire prior to assessment so we can fully understand your child and their needs. For example, it will ask questions about your child’s history (e.g., birth, medical, developmental, and educational). We also want to know your child’s favorites, such as books, toys and/or activities. We will use the latter to find some familiar, high-interest materials for your child to establish rapport.
Speech production skills include articulation/phonology, voice and fluency. We may first perform an oral mechanism examination to look at the structure and functioning of the speech structures (e.g., lips, tongue, teeth, jaw, and palate). Assessment of articulation involves determine how a child articulates speech sounds relative to their age level. Your child may be mispronouncing one or more sounds that should be mastered by their age. Phonology involves identifying patterns in speech sound errors (e.g., a child may leave off final consonants). Maybe your child’s voice or fluency was the reason for referral. We will examine the parameters of your child’s voice (quality, loudness, pitch, resonance, and prosody) and how they use their voice. Fluency involves how fluid your child speaks. We will be able to determine if there is a stuttering or cluttering problem.
Assessment of articulation/phonology, voice and fluency may involve, for example, use of pictures, objects, toys, books, talking (getting a sample of speech in conversation) and other means to determine where your child is in relationship to their age level.
Language: Receptive language is how well your child understands what he/she hears (e.g., follows directions, understands concepts for their age, follows along with stories and conversation, and answers questions). It also includes phonological awareness or how well your child can segment and manipulate sounds of oral language (e.g., rhyming, breaking words into syllables, blending sounds into words, etc.). This is important to reading. Expressive language is how well they are able to express themselves relative to their age using the right vocabulary, grammar, and syntax. It looks at how your child uses words, sentences, and nonverbal language (e.g., gestures) to communicate.
Testing may involve many different kinds of activities and materials, depending on the area being assessed. Many standardized tests use pictures objects, toys and stories and include answering questions, following directions, pointing, naming, and other tasks. Other types of materials we may use include games, puzzles, and books. Testing may also include assessing social pragmatic (social communication) skills. In young children, we will be interested in watching how they interact with toys and people in play and if they show socially oriented behaviors such as joint attention and social reciprocity.
Post Testing (Adult or Child)
We will give you a general understanding of our findings at the end of the assessment. A formal report will be written outlining our findings. Specific goals are included in the report aimed at helping you or your child achieve meaningful, functional and measurable gains.
This article by:
Lynne G. Alba
M.A., CCC, SLP
Speech Therapy Solutions, Children’s Speech Care