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Assessment Series: Would a Speech and Language Assessment be Right for My Toddler?
As discussed in our previous blog on feeding assessments, there are certain milestones that parents wait for with excitement. Introducing solid foods, watching your child take his/her first step, and hearing his/her first word are exciting moments for all parents! But sometimes hearing that “mama” or “dada” does not happen when we would expect.
Why a Speech and Language Assessment?
Parents are often unsure if their child’s limited communication is cause for concern. As speech-language pathologists, we can assess a variety of areas, including: receptive language (how much your child understands), expressive language (how much she/he can say), articulation (how sounds are pronounced), and social communication/play (interaction and engagement). While being a “late talker” is a common concern, the speech-language pathologist will want to know why. Is the child understanding language? Is he/she engaging with others appropriately? Can the child make a variety of sounds?
If you find yourself agreeing with one or more of the statements below, you might want to consider a speech and language assessment for your toddler.
- My child is not able to identify familiar objects, pictures, or people (e.g., cannot point to body parts, pictures, or preferred objects)
- My child cannot follow simple commands (e.g., come here, sit down, give me the ball)
- My child is not responding when I call his/her name and/or prefers to play alone
- My child is not using words by 18 months or does not have 2 word phrases by 2 years of age
- My child makes very few sounds and communicates using mostly gestures (e.g., pointing/reaching)
- My child is getting frustrated when not able to communicate his/her wants and needs
What to Expect
At Boomerang Health, speech and language assessments take place in one of our therapy rooms. Assessments will typically involve an initial parent interview to gather relevant background information and presenting concerns. The speech-language pathologist will interact with your child in a number of different ways, including: looking at books, playing with toys (e.g., blocks, puzzles, dolls, etc.), singing songs, and or watching you and your child play together. At the conclusion of the assessment, the speech-language pathologist will be able to provide feedback on your child’s communication level and let you know whether intervention is recommended.
If you are still questioning whether a speech and language assessment would be appropriate for your toddler, feel free to give our office a call. We would be happy to chat through it with you, and help to schedule one in, should you decide to proceed.