Areas Assessed During Your Child's First Appointment

 

 

Attention

Your child’s therapist will assess your child’s attention skills in terms of how well they are able to maintain focus on and transition from activities, based on what is expected for a child their age.

 

 

Hearing

Your child’s therapist will conduct an informal hearing screening by identifying how well your child responds to various sounds in the environment. We may refer your child for formal testing or screening if there are concerns with how well they respond to informal screening, or if they there are any risk factors for hearing difficulties (e.g. a history of ear infections).

 

 

Language

Assessing your child's language involves looking at the way they are developing a system of words and symbols, to include body language, facial expressions, and gestures, to communicate meaning during daily interactions with people in a variety of environments. 

Your child’s therapist will assess their receptive language skills; i.e. how well they understand age appropriate words and their meanings, various concepts, and grammar, as well as their expressive language skills; i.e. how well they use age-appropriate words, concepts and grammar to get their needs met, to express themselves, and to participate in social situations.

If your child is not yet verbal or has a limited understanding of language, either due to a developmental delay or disability, the therapist will assess their functional use and understanding of words that they encounter on a daily basis.

 

 

Oral Mechanism

Your child’s therapist will conduct an informal assessment of your child’s oral mechanism, i.e.  the structures of their mouth (e.g. jaw, tongue, cheek, lips) in terms of overall strength, stability, mobility, range of motion, and differentiation, as well as the overall symmetry of their face.


During the assessment, your child’s therapist reviews the posture of their body and torso, their head and neck, their mouth, lips, and tongue, as well as their ability to perform non-speech oral motor tasks such as tongue tip elevation, lateralization, depression, lip protrusion and retraction. Information gathered from this assessment provides information about how well your child is able to coordinate their oral structures in order to produce speech sounds and words and to perform tasks such as eating.

 

 

Play

Your child’s therapist will assess the way your child interacts with age-appropriate toys, as well as the way they interact with you and others, based on what is expected for a child their age.

 

 

Speech

Assessing your child's speech involves looking at the manner in which they produce words in order to communicate. Speech is comprised of the following areas:

 

 

Articulation and Phonology

Articulation refers to a child's ability to coordinate their oral structures to produce and sequence speech sounds, while Phonology refers to a child's ability to process the rules governing the speech sound system of their native language.


Your child’s therapist may assess your child’s production of speech sounds formally or informally, depending on whether this is an area of concern.

 

 

Fluency

Fluency refers to the rhythm or forward flow of speech and represents the smoothness with which sounds, syllables, words, and phrases are produced during speaking tasks.


Your child’s therapist may assess this area formally or informally, depending on whether this is an area of concern.

 

  

Voice

Voice is the production of sound using air from the lungs and larynx (voice box). Your child’s therapist will assess your child’s voice by looking at parameters such as pitch, voice quality, and resonance.

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