Speech and Language Assessments

Younger Children (Under 5 years old)

These assessments are play-based and last approximately one hour. Caregivers are active participants in these assessments. These evaluations include a combination of:

  • Parent Questionnaire
  • Teacher Questionnaire, if applicable
  • Parent Interview
  • Formal Testing
  • Language Sample
  • Observations of Parent-Child Interactions

We might ask for a video of your child playing and interacting at home and school!

Older Children (5 and older)

These assessments start at a minimum of one hour. Due to fatigue, we generally we do not see children for longer than two hours at a time. We recommend seeing children in the morning (when they are generally well-rested). These evaluations may include a combination of:

  • Parent and Teacher Questionnaires
  • Parent Interview
  • Standardized Testing
  • Language Sample
  • Oral Motor Examination (if applicable)
  • Behavioral Observations

We often hear the words speech and language used interchangeably. They might mean the same thing when we’re talking casually about communication. But to speech-language pathologists, they have very different meanings.

Speech refers to the actual sound of spoken language. It’s the oral form of communicating. Speech is talking: using the muscles of the tongue, lips, jaw, and vocal tract in a very precise and coordinated way to produce the recognizable sounds that make up language.

Language refers to a whole system of words and symbols—written, spoken, or expressed with gestures and body language—that is used to communicate meaning.

Just as speech and language differ, there’s a difference between speech disorders and language disorders.

A speech disorder usually indicates that someone has trouble producing certain sounds accurately.

Young children who are learning how to speak will probably substitute, leave out, or distort normal speech sounds. For example, it’s not unusual for 3-year-olds to use the f sound for th in their speech: “I’m firsty (thirsty).” But that pronunciation would be considered an articulation error in a 5-year-old. This is a speech problem.

Language deals with meaning. A child with a language disorder may have a difficult time understanding the meaning of what’s being said (receptive language issues). Or he may have trouble communicating his own thoughts (expressive language issues).

Speech disorders and language disorders may occur separately. Or an individual may have both kinds of disorders at the same time.