Complete Overview of a Speech Language Evaluation

  1. Begin with a Review of History – This is the best way to gain insight into your client, as well help you choose the best course of action. Arm yourself with information about:
  • Developmental Milestones
  • Medical History
  • Educational History
  • History of Services & Goals
  • Current Services

*Use the information gathered to clarify any questions that arise 

  1. Conduct a Parent Interview – No matter the age of the client, this is the most important piece! Their loved ones know them the best and have their own desires and needs for the student (reasonable or not). Often times, especially in the school systems, this can be very difficult to obtain. Here are three helpful tips!

Create/Obtain a thorough interview template

  • It is ideal to do in person or over the phone
  • Keep in mind, the longer it is, the less likely they will be to fill it out.
  • Have others involved with the student/client get involved, including nanny, siblings, other caregivers, teachers, other professionals

Open-ended Questions

  • Yes, you want a checklist for birth history and development. However, when you begin to ask about the parent’s experience and desires within the home, community, school, etc. considering asking about the child’s struggles, successes and needs
  • Asking open ended questions will help guide your testing and goal writing process.

Look at the WHOLE child

  • Health, diet, and sleep patterns are good indicators of a student’s ability to learn and retain information.
  • Collaborate with the psychologist, pediatrician and other involved professionals for further details about family dynamics, etc.

*For more information and an example of a parent interview template, click here

  1. Complete a Comprehensive Assessment – “Comprehensive” depends on the payer source (insurance, private pay, etc.). It is important to cover all areas relevant to the age of the child within speech and language. It is also good to begin with a baseline measurement of speech sounds (articulation) and general language ability (i.e., just subtests necessary to get a core composite score). After this, STOP AND ANALYZE!
  • Comprehensive does not imply just a bunch of testing
  • More is not better if it’s unnecessary!
  • Identify areas of need and dig into those areas (this may include the use of informal measurement tools)