What to expect..
If you choose to arrange an assessment, after the initial referral and phone conversation, a mutually suitable time will be arranged to meet with your child and you.
This can be arranged to take place at home or in your child's nursery or school.
Prior to the assessment a 'contact details and consent form' will be sent to you via e mail or post (also available to download from website in forms section). This needs to be filled in and returned by the first assessment session.
What will be assessed?
The assessment will be guided by you and your child’s needs, but the following skills may be assessed:
Speech: refers to saying the sounds correctly and in the right place in the words. It may also relate to speaking fluently, without hesitating, prolonging or repeating words or sounds. It also means speaking with expression in a clear voice using pitch, volume and intonation to add meaning
Language; refers to understanding and making sense of what people say. It also includes using words to build up conversation. This skill involves putting information in the right order to make sense
Communication: refers to how we interact with others; being able to talk to people and take turns as well as change language to suit the situation. It includes non-verbal communication for example eye contact, gestures, facial expressions. In addition, communication related to being able to consider another person’s perspective, intentions and the wider context.
(Definitions taken from 'Placing Children and your people at the heart of delivering quality speech and language therapy', RCSLT September 2018)
Eating and drinking; the ability to take food or drink to our mouth and manage it, swallowing it safely and efficiently. Disruption to this ability is known as dysphagia.
What does assessment look like?
chatting to you to gather information relevant to your child's development and current abilities
informal assessment: structured observation of your child playing and interacting during activities which are familiar to them
formal assessment: these consist of tests which will give scores which are standardised to ages. Usually it will require your child to look at pictures and listen to instructions or generate language.
Following initial assessment an 'initial assessment summary report' will be sent to you.
This will include a summary of findings and outline options of next steps which will have been discussed with you. These options may include;
A block of individual sessions to work on specific goals defined by you and your child
Further assessment in the same setting or an alternative setting
Liaison and/or skills training with staff supporting your child in nursery or school
Your child’s progress and therapy requirements will be reviewed at the end of each block.