Speech Disorder Evaluation

A speech disorder evaluation is necessary before beginning any speech or articulation therapy program. The purpose of the evaluation is to determine if a disorder even exists, and if so, to create an individualized treatment plan based on the results. 

Speech Disorder Evaluation Options

Extensive case history (this one is HUGE)

  • Review of previous medical records
  • Questionnaire for parents on development and concerns
  • Interview with teachers and parents to gather relevant concerns

Oral mechanism examination

  • Asses structure and function of articulators

Hearing Testing

  • Provided by an audiologist
  • Rules out hearing loss as a confounding factor

Evaluation of Production of Speech Sounds

There are many standardized tests that provide standards scores for speech sound production. Most tests follow a similar pattern outlined below.

  • Evaluate how a child produces each phoneme (sound) at the syllable, word, and sentence level.
  • It assesses production of each phoneme in the beginning, middle, and end of a word.
  • Asses stimulability for errors. This will help with the goal writing process.

Language Sampling

  • Elicit and record a language sample.
  • Language samples provide assessment for errors at the connected speech level in a more natural setting.
  • Language sampling does not provide a standard score, but it provides invaluable information about a child's true ability.

Formal Observations

  • Observe a child's speech in various settings such as home, classroom, and/or recess.

Results

Results of a speech disorder evaluation may cause: 

  • Diagnosis of a speech disorder: articulation disorder, phonological processing disorder, dysarthria, and/or apraxia
  • Standard scores which provide severity of disorder
  • Characteristics of disorder across settings
  • Individualized treatment plan: therapy goals and/or home strategies
  • Referral to other professionals such as an audiologist or ENT if needed

Next Steps

If your child has a speech disorder, don't panic.

My recommended plan: