One topic that we are asked about a lot when speaking to new potential clients is the process between being referred for an evaluation by your child's pediatrician, school, or other healthcare provider, and getting started with treatment. In this article, we want to highlight the path from referral to your first therapy session.
Once a child is referred to the clinic for a speech evaluation and is scheduled for assessment, the evaluating clinician will collect basic intake information such as medical history, developmental history, insurance coverage, concerns regarding speech and language, and desired outcomes. This information will help in selecting the appropriate assessments for the evaluation itself. Potential assessments include: articulation (i.e. specific speech sound development), language (i.e. vocabulary, comprehension, functional communication), fluency (i.e. stuttering), and pragmatics (i.e. social skills, play skills). Choosing the appropriate assessments allows clinicians to properly probe areas of concern during the evaluation time.
Along with collecting and interpreting data from standardized assessments, clinicians also gather informal and observational notes during an evaluation, in order to help build a comprehensive picture of the client's current communication functioning. All of the data collected during the evaluation, as well as all of the intake information provided, is organized into an evaluation report. In this report, the clinician determines whether or not a speech and language disorder is present and also gives a recommendation if treatment is warranted.
When speech therapy is recommended, the clinician will create a plan of treatment to delineate both long and short term goals for the client based on weaknesses identified from the evaluation. Treatment sessions may be recommended once weekly, or multiple times per week, depending on the disorder. The clinician will take data during therapy sessions in order to measure the client's progress on goals and objectives as treatment continues.
If you are ready to start the speech-language therapy process, call Buckhead Speech Specialists today for to schedule an evaluation. We look forward to helping you!