It can be difficult to decide if your kid needs speech/language therapy. There is a wide range of what is considered “normal”. All children develop differently and excel in different areas. The best way to identify if your child is having difficulties that should be evaluated by a specialist is to determine if your child is showing any “red flags” for developing speech and language appropriately. Please refer to the speech/language developmental red flag form under the resource tab. Red flags give us the age by which a child SHOULD have developed a particular skill. Please remember that this checklist is only a resource to guide you when deciding if children’s speech therapy is needed for your kid. If you are concerned please contact Communicate Therapy Services to set up a screener.
A speech/language screener is a wonderful tool to determine if a child is developing within the “average” range when compared to other children his or her age. Screening tests identify conditions that might need further assessment and are an important part of well-child health care. During the screening your child will be asked questions and given things to observe, think about, and then respond to verbally. They are often performed quickly and are completed in approximately 20 minutes. Those who do not pass the screening will be recommended to receive a more in-depth evaluation to assess the required level of children’s speech therapy.
An evaluation allows a speech language pathologist the opportunity to assess your child’s strengths and possible needs through testing. Testing can include a standardized test, observation through play, history information or parent report. The evaluation will determine if the child needs treatment. Treatment cannot be initiated unless an evaluation has been completed. Referrals to other professionals may be made if during the evaluation it is found that your child is having difficulties in areas that are outside the realm of practice for a speech pathologist. This may include audiology, ENT, Occupational therapist, Physical Therapist, or orthodontist, etc.
It is not necessary to fill out paperwork prior to the evaluation but it would speed up the check in process. Please fill out the new patient form. If your child has less than 50 words, please write down the words or signs they are using at home on a consistent basis.
We offer 30 and 45 minute speech and language sessions. Length of session is determined by the child’s age and level of need. Therapy will be fun yet structured, and generally is a balance between chair and floor / play time depending on your child’s needs. We encourage parent education and involvement and will guide you in the use of home practice to speed your child’s progress and help your child meet his / her goals.
Communication works for those who work at it. -John Powell
Communication is a skill that you learn. It’s like riding a bicycle or typing. If you’re willing to work at it, you can rapidly improve the qualify of every part of your life. -Brian Tracy