FAQ’s

Does my child need a speech-language evaluation?
What happens after an evaluation?
How is a screening different from an evaluation?
Is it possible for my child to pass a screening and still need to receive an evaluation?

Questions about Therapy:

What happens after an evaluation?
What types of interventions does your clinic utilize?
Will you be in contact with my child’s teacher?
How long can I expect my child to be in therapy?

Other Questions

I am concerned about my child’s speech and language, but my pediatrician is not. What should I do?
How is therapy different from tutoring?
What are some strategies I can teach my child to improve listening and memory?
What is Auditory Processing Disorder?

Questions about Evaluations:

Does my child need a speech-language evaluation?
If you have concerns about your child’s speech and/or language development please refer to our developmental charts. If your child is missing two or more of the milestones for his or her age, then it is best to seek an evaluation. Also seek the advice of your child’s pediatrician and teachers.

What happens after an evaluation?
The results of your child’s evaluation are discussed with you and a report is written to include scores, strengths and weaknesses, diagnosis, and recommendations. If therapy is recommended, the frequency and duration is discussed openly with you, and the most appropriate plan for your family is determined together.

How is a screening different from an evaluation?
These are two very different things. A screening is a very basic “glimpse” of a child’s abilities. Think of it as a snapshot. A screening can be conducted very quickly. It takes anywhere from just a few minutes to as much as 15 minutes or more. It takes a broad look at the child’s receptive and expressive language skills as well as speech (articulation) skills. A screening is done to identify any child who may need further testing. A failed screening does not necessarily mean a child needs speech therapy, it does mean the child needs additional testing.

An evaluation is a much more in-depth look at a child’s abilities. Think of it as a video. An evaluation takes much longer to administer. The length of an evaluation depends on the child’s age and the skills being assessed as well as other factors. A evaluation typically last about one hour or more. It will assess many aspects of the child’s receptive and expressive language skills. An evaluation will assess a child’s ability to produce all of the sounds of the English language. An evaluation will also include a check of the child oral structures. (This is sometimes called an oral mechanism assessment.) An evaluation is done to see if a child needs speech and/or language therapy.

Is it possible for my child to pass a screening and still need to receive an evaluation?
Yes, it is possible. You or your child’s teacher may feel that your child needs additional testing even after passing a screening, based on information that the screener may not have been able to detect.

Screenings need to be conducted regularly; a child may develop problems over time. A child can pass a screening at the age of 4 and fail it the next year.

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Questions about Therapy:

What happens after an evaluation?
The results of your child’s evaluation are discussed with you and a report is written to include scores, strengths and weaknesses, diagnosis, and recommendations. If therapy is recommended, the frequency and duration is discussed openly with you, and the most appropriate plan for your family is determined together.

 

What types of interventions does your clinic utilize?

  • PROMPT Therapy
  • Hear Builder Programs
  • Earobics
  • SoundSmart (BrainTrain)
  • Ellar Programs
  • SPELL/SPELL Links
  • SQ Write
  • Interactive Metronome
  • Lindamood-Bell Techniques
  • SRA Specific Skills Series
  • Compton P-ESL
  • S.M.I.L.A.
  • Linguisystems Publications

Will you be in contact with my child’s teacher?
Yes! We prefer to have your child’s teacher’s name, phone number and email so that we may collaborate.

How long can I expect my child to be in therapy?
Unfortunately, there is no easy way to answer that question. Each child is unique therefore, it is impossible to say how long the therapy process will take. ASHA NOMS * data has determined that for speech disorders it generally takes 20 hours of therapy for a child to improve one functional communication level.

For some children the process goes very quickly; for others it takes longer. This varies depending on a number of factors which typically include the severity of the disorder; length and frequency of therapy sessions; whether or not a home program is used consistently; and maturity of the child.

You can help the process along by ensuring that your child attends sessions regularly and by following all the suggestions given by your child’s therapist.

*Please visit the ASHA website for more information on NOMS data.

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Other Questions

I am concerned about my child’s speech and language, but my pediatrician is not. What should I do?
You know your child better than anyone so if you have concerns please seek an evaluation. Your child may behave differently in the doctor’s office, so your doctor may not see exactly why you are concerned. If you need a referral keep bringing it up to your child’s pediatrician. Cite for the doctor the specific things that your are concerned about. Keep a record of the behavior that is concerning you and take it in at your next doctor’s appointment. After you do this, if you are still getting nowhere, seek out a second opinion from another pediatrician. In any case, we advise you not to wait more than a few months, since early intervention can truly make a big difference in the life of a child. Further, it will not hurt to get an evaluation and find out that nothing is wrong. However, if you have developed these concerns recently or if your child is under 2 years of age, you may take a few months to see if your concerns persist.

How is therapy different from tutoring?
While both tutors and therapist often work with children individually or in small groups, the goals of each are very different. Tutors often work with children to reteach the same material that the child’s teacher is covering in school. The goal of therapy is to retrain or remediate the child’s speech or language skills. The work a therapist does with a child should improve his or her functioning in the classroom environment, but the focus is not to reteach the material presented by the child’s teacher. Also, tutoring is often done for short periods of time, while therapy is typically ongoing over a period of months or years.

What are some strategies I can teach my child to improve listening and memory?
Strategies for Listening and Memory**

ATTENDING SKILLS:

*Recognize your teacher’s alerting words.
*Establish eye contact when a listening cue is heard. This helps you focus on what is being said, and looking at the speaker is the polite thing to do.
*Recognize external distractions and put them in the background. Some external distractions can be solved. If it’s noisy in the hallway, shut the door, etc… Ask the teacher to speak louder or move away from the source of distraction if possible.
*Recognize internal distractions (daydreaming!) and stop. Think of it as turning off the T.V. in your mind. Think, “Oops, I’ve got the wrong channel on. It’s not time to watch that. I’ve got to turn on the ‘teacher channel’.” Then look at the teacher and try to repeat what the teacher is saying in your mind. Remember…daydreaming is a great way to pass the time if you’re riding in the car or waiting in line. Daydreaming is inappropriate in the classroom, however, and causes you to miss important things your teacher is saying.
*Maintain a good listening position (maintain eye contact and full body control). Eyes: Look at the speaker most of the time. Hands: Keep still and away from distractions. Feet: Do not move them unless you are shifting to view the speaker.
*Wait for verbal direction to be completed before beginning a task.

REMEMBERING WHAT IS BEING SAID:
*Subvocalizing (repeating key information silently) to hold on to information long enough to complete a task or write it down.
*Chunking (grouping pieces of information together)
*Visual imaging
**Taken in part from A Metacognitive Program for Treating Auditory Processing Disorders by Patricia McAleer Hamaguchi

What is Auditory Processing Disorder?
An Auditory Processing Disorder, which may also be known as a Central Auditory Processing Disorder (CAPD), is used to describe a special type of hearing problem which can be found in children as well as adults. Typically the individual has normal hearing acuity, but functions as though he/she has a hearing loss.

“Very simply auditory processing is what the brain does with what the ear hears” (Katz, 1994).

Students with auditory processing disorders (APD) are a heterogeneous group. They display a multitude of symptoms varying in number and degree of severity. Other disorders such as language disorders, word retrieval difficulties, dyslexia, and attention deficit disorder may co-exist with APD. Statistics show the prevalence of APD to be in two to three percent of children, with a 2:1 boy to girl ratio (Chermak and Musiek, 1997).

Milestones – What Should You Expect?

SPEECH AND LANGUAGE DEVELOPMENT 24-30 Months

  1. Children should be able to say certain sounds, but parents should not expect perfection. Sounds are often substituted, such as “bacuum” for “vacuum”.
  2. Children should produce vowel sounds correctly.
  3. The following consonant sounds should be produced correctly: /m/, /f/, /h/, /p/, /n/, /k/, /g/, /t/, /d/ and /w/.
  4. Speech is intelligible 50-60 percent of the time to people outside of the family even though sound errors may be present.
  5. A child’s expressive vocabulary increases to about 300 words.
  6. A child understands about 400 words.
  7. A child should be producing 3- to 4-word sentences.
  8. A child should be following one-step commands.
  9. A child should be able to tell you his/her name on request. A child should be beginning to understand number concepts like “one” (Give me one block).

SPEECH AND LANGUAGE DEVELOPMENT 3 Years (36 Months)

  1. A child understands 1,500 to 2,000 words and presents an expressive vocabulary of 1,000 words.
  2. A child understands long and complex sentences (“When we go to the store, we will buy ice cream for a snack.”).
  3. A child uses past tense markers, pronouns and plurals.
  4. A child asks LOTS of questions.
  5. Speech is intelligible approximately 75 percent of the time to people outside the family even though there may be sound errors present.
  6. A child may have disfluencies (the repetition of sounds, syllables, words, or phrases without great effort or the use of unnecessary sounds like “um” or “ah”) in his/her speech. Some children do not go through this stage, but some do. If this happens, know that these disfluencies absent of struggle occur in the normal course of speech development. Please contact us and we’ll be happy to give you suggestions on how to handle it the best way for you and your child.
  7. A child listens and can be reasoned with verbally.
  8. A child listens to longer and more varied stories.
  9. A child categorizes pictures of common objects, identifies colors, understands descriptive words and makes inferences.
  10. Correct production of /l/ and /s/ should be emerging between 3 and 4 years of age.

SPEECH AND LANGUAGE DEVELOPMENT 5-6 Years

  1. A child has the ability to perform formal language operations and continues to expand on them.
  2. A child tries new words, can define age-appropriate vocabulary words, and formulate sentences with given words.
  3. A child seeks information through why, what and how questions.
  4. A child is able to explain the rules of a game or activity to others.
  5. A child knows his/her address and telephone number.
  6. A child can identify money.
  7. A child distinguishes left/right and himself/herself.
  8. A child understands time/sequence concepts.
  9. A child understands basic math operations.
  10. Correct productions of /th/ and /r/ sounds occur. Articulation development is completed.

Please call 901-756-4499 for details regarding scheduling an appointment, speaking with a therapist or rates.