What to Expect From an Initial Assessment

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If you are concerned about your child’s speech, language or communication skills it can be an anxious time. As a parent you want to do the best to support them. At Speech Leap we are here to help and can offer an initial assessment appointment to find out your child’s strengths and areas of difficulty to help you better understand their needs. The first session is informal and relaxed. Where possible we try to carry out the initial assessment at home so your child is in a familiar environment.

The initial assessment will include three key activities:

Case History: We will take a case history from you to find out all about your child’s life and your views on their speech, language and communication. Questions will include information about:

·       Any medical conditions or diagnoses

·       Early developmental milestone (e.g. when did they sit up, crawl and walk)

·       Their feeding and sleeping

·       Any concerns regarding their behaviour

·       Your views on their communication skills

·       How they are getting on at nursery or school

1:1 Assessment: We will carry out an assessment session with your child to assess their communication skills. We will be ascertaining their strengths and difficulties in the following areas:

·       Attention and Listening

·       Play

·       Understanding

·       Spoken Language

·       Speech Sounds

·       Stammering

·       Social interaction

With younger children, this will all be carried out through play, observing how they communicate and instructions that they understand.

For children aged 3-4 we may do some more structured play activities listening to instructions or looking at pictures or books.

For older children we may carry out formal assessments to compare your child’s skills to other children of the same age to work out ascertain whether they have a speech and language difficulty. We will still make sure there is time for a game at the end so that your child enjoys the session!

Feedback and next steps: At the end of the initial assessment we will always feedback our findings from the session in a jargon-free way. We can then discuss next steps and possible interventions.

All our findings are written on our electronic database which you will have access to. If you would like a formal, written report from the session, this will incur an extra cost. This is a useful way of sharing the findings from the session with other important people such as the child’s nursery or school, your NHS Speech and Language Therapist or any other professionals.

Remember… We are here to help. We hope that you and your child will enjoy our initial assessment and it will give you a better understanding of your child’s strengths and needs.  

Justine & Emma