A speech and language screening consists of a short assessment observing a child’s speech (how they pronounce sounds) and language (e.g. following directions, answering questions, processing information, naming vocabulary etc.) through observation of play, attention, and social interactions. If appropriate for your child's age, reading and writing abilities will also be assessed. After which the therapist has an initial impression of your child’s abilities and can make further recommendations for a full evaluation, if needed.
What to expect: If you have questions or concerns, an inquiry should be made by email or phone. Get answers that will guide you to the appropriate service. An observational screening with a therapist can be arranged. At the preschool level, a screening usually takes ten minutes. Observations are usually made in a classroom setting as the child plays with an object, interacts with other children, or participates in a classroom activity. Are they clearly hearing? Are they aware, attentive, and engaging? Following the observations, the child is asked simple questions e.g., “What is your name?, Can you count my fingers? Can you smile? What color is this?"
If results indicate the need for speech pathology, expect:
Recommendations for supporting normal development and preventing speech-language impairment;
Plans to monitor (observe) the child’s development then re-screen them in a few months to ascertain any progress or changes;
If results indicate the need other services, expect:
A referral for a comprehensive speech-language evaluation. This can be done by Dr. Indy or any licensed professional in the private or public sector;
Possible referrals for other assessments or services, such as occupational therapy, physical therapy, or other professional services as appropriate.
Ultimately, remember that the choice of who you will work with is yours! Consider who and where will provide the best services and ongoing support for your child and family.