We often get calls from parents and caregivers who are wondering if their child would benefit from therapy. Sometimes we get enough information that we know we need to conduct a full evaluation. There are times, however, where we feel a screening may be more appropriate.
A screening is a quick, cursory glance at the child’s skills which helps the speech-language pathologist to determine if a full evaluation is warranted. Depending on the age of the child, what takes places during a screening visit may look different.
For very young children who , we use a form that we developed that looks at the areas of receptive language (what the child understands), expressive language (the language the child uses), and communication skills. This checklist can be completed with parent/caregiver and/or teacher input. For children 3 years and older we use a standardized screening measure that looks at receptive and expressive language as well as voice quality and fluency (looking to see if they child may stutter). Screening appointments typical take between 15-20 minutes.
It is most beneficial to know the caregiver’s concerns, if any, so that the speech-language pathologist can make sure to address those areas. Any significant history information regarding birth and medical history, as well as family history is helpful.
At the end of the appointment the family is given information about whether the results of the screening indicate a “pass” or “refer for full evaluation”.
We offer free speech and language screenings at daycares and preschools and at any of our 6 clinics. If you think your child may need to be screened, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 615.614.8833
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