Understanding where your child is up to with their speech and language development can be tricky. After all, children develop at their own pace.
But, if you are concerned, the best course of action is to seek assistance from a speech pathologist, and this assistance will often start with a speech and language assessment.
Our team of qualified speech pathologists offer speech and language assessments to help grow our understanding of your child’s strengths, interests, and challenges, and how we can tailor speech therapy and support to suit your family’s individual needs.
What Does an Assessment Involve?
A Growing Understanding ensures that all assessments are fun, accessible and valuable. We utilise a combination of formal standardised tests, engaging activities incorporating play, conversations, and other strategies to help us observe your child and assess a variety of areas including:
- Speech Sounds and Articulation (Speech Clarity)
- Early Language Skills
- Pre-school and School Aged Language Skills
- Fluency of Speech (Stuttering)
- Social Skills
- Literacy Skills (Phonological Awareness and Development of Reading and Writing Skills)
- Feeding Skills
We also gather information from other professionals who know your child well including teachers, educators, psychologists, paediatricians, GPs and occupational therapist. This information, together with your insights and observations, can help us form an individualised speech therapy plan that will help your child grow.
Speech and Language Assessments FAQs
Knowing when to seek assistance is not always easy, but the following is a checklist to help you determine if a speech and language assessment might be required:
- you or other people are having difficulty understanding your child
- people think your child is younger than they are because of the way they speak
- your child becomes frustrated because of the way they speak or because they can’t communicate their needs clearly
- your child is using fewer words than other children the same age
- your child appears to stutter
- your child’s interactions with others and how they play seems unusual or inappropriate
- your child is struggling with reading and/or writing
- there is a diagnosis that could affect their speech and language development such as hearing loss, auditory processing disorder, autism spectrum disorder or developmental delay
If you notice any of the above and are concerned about your child’s development, talk to us today. Our friendly team of experienced speech pathologists are here to guide you through your concern and help you take the best next step.
At A Growing Understanding Speech Pathology, we are passionate about providing a high quality, comprehensive assessment service. We appreciate that your child is unique with their own strengths and challenges and we aim to explore these within our assessment sessions that include parent interviews and lots of play. A parent discussion is usually held prior to an assessment so our Speech Pathologists can gain an understanding of your concerns and what assessments are required.
Following this discussion, our Speech Pathologists will determine the best way to conduct the assessment/s and help you secure the appropriate appointment times.
Typically, an assessment will run for approximately 60-90 minutes and is conducted as a face-to-face session within one of our Centres. You and your child are present for the assessment, and the Speech Pathologist will discuss the various assessment activities with you during and after the session.
To gather the required information, we may recommend at least two separate sessions to complete assessments. Speech pathology assessments are not scary or invasive. Our Speech Pathologists ensure that fun and games are always incorporated to help your child feel relaxed and safe. We can also adapt our methods, timing and even resources to ensure your child has the best experience.
We recommend that parents bring anything that makes their child feel comfortable. A favourite toy, game or book is a great way for us to get to know your child. You can also bring along a snack and a drink to refuel during breaks.
We also ask that you bring any reports or other documentation related to your child. This may be assessments from other professionals (such as Occupational Therapists or Physiotherapists), hearing test results or letters from your doctor.
Following an assessment, our Speech Pathologist will review the information gathered and prepare a report. This report details your child’s strengths and challenges observed during the assessment. We then meet with you for a follow up appointment to discuss this report and best way forward.
Typically, there are three possible pathways that can follow from an assessment:
- Your child’s speech and language skills may be developing well for their age and will not require any follow up with one of our speech pathologists. You may be provided with some simple, fun, take home activities that you can incorporate into your day to continue to support your child’s speech and language development.
- The assessment may indicate that your child’s speech and language skills are below average compared to other children the same age, however their skills are still developing in the appropriate sequence. Families often refer to children with this issue as ‘late talkers’. Your speech pathologist will discuss intervention options and prepare a plan with you to commence therapy.
- The assessment may show that your child’s speech and/or language skills are not developing appropriately for their age. This is referred to as a speech sound disorder or language disorder. Your speech pathologist will discuss intervention options and prepare a plan with you to commence therapy.
No, you don’t.
There are many reasons for considering a speech pathology assessment including:
- You have concerns regarding your child’s speech and language skills but are not sure what the next step might be
- Your GP has recommended an assessment, either at a routine appointment or following discussions with you
- A health professional such as a Paediatrician, Occupational Therapist or Physiotherapist has recommended an assessment
- Your child’s daycare or preschool educator have expressed concerns regarding your child’s communication skills
- Your child may be starting school next year and you would like to investigate their ‘school readiness’ skills
Even if you’d just like peace of mind that your child’s communication skills are developing at an appropriate rate, an assessment is a great first step to take.
We currently have availability for new and existing clients to access assessments and ongoing speech therapy services.
Our three Centres located in Newcastle, Lake Macquarie and Port Stephens offer extended operating hours to ensure families can access appointment times that work with their schedules, including before and after school and outside typical work hours.
To get started with a speech and language assessment, submit an enquiry below.
We pride ourselves on offering our families accurate and reliable information. That is why we take the time to discuss the fees that will apply to the services appropriate for your child. When we meet with you and your child, and gain an understanding of your budget, we can provide a true indication of any ongoing costs, and discuss available support systems including The National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS).
You can learn more on our Bookings & Fees Page
Enquire About Speech and Language Assessments for Children
Fill in the form below to get started on your speech pathology journey. One of our team will be in touch with you shortly to book in your assessment.
Our speech and language assessments typically run for about 60-90 minutes and a second session may be needed to gather the required information. The sessions are relaxed and fun, with lots of play involved!