Speech Therapy Evaluation Questions Often Asked By Our Families

Speech Therapy Evaluation: Questions Often Asked By Our Families


Q: Why is my child seeing a Speech/Language Pathologist?

A: Your pediatrician or another health care professional may have referred you to a pediatric speech/language pathologist (SLP) to evaluate your child’s ability to talk, speak clearly, communicate with others, understand common words, follow directions, eat and drink. The speech/language pathologist will work closely with you and your family to understand your concerns for your child and to partner with you to develop goals and a treatment plan to accomplish those goals.

Q: What will happen during the evaluation?

A: The speech/language pathologist will obtain information regarding your child’s medical history and developmental milestones. The therapist will do a physical examination of your child’s face and mouth, evaluate your child’s ability to communicate, talk, speak clearly, express their thoughts, follow directions interact with others and understand things said to him or her. The therapist will use various “tests”, to see how your child compares to other children the same age. The SLP will also discuss your child’s ability to communicate successfully across the different environments that he/she is a part of, such as school, home, and extra-curricular activities. They will review the relationships between your child’s skill level, limitations if any, and functional abilities.

Q: How long will the evaluation take?

A: The evaluation may take up to two hours.

Q: Will there be time to discuss the findings? If therapy is recommended, how long will my child need services?

A: The speech/language pathologist (SLP) will discuss the initial evaluation findings with you at the end of the evaluation. Together with the evaluator you will discuss the diagnosis, strengths, areas for improvement, how long your child may need therapy, the plan of care and therapy goals. If treatment is not recommended, discuss with your therapist other resources, options and additional recommendations.

Q: What is my role during the evaluation?

A: The therapist will ask you questions regarding your child’s medical history, development and areas of concern. Please let the therapist know how to address your child, meaning the name he/she goes by (ex: nickname), as well as the language spoken in your home. The therapist will let you know if they need any help during the evaluation.

Q: When will I get a report?

A: You should receive a written report by mail within 3 weeks. If you have an account, visit our Patient Portal at My Children’s Specialized Patient and Family Portal to access the evaluation report. If you do not have an account, please ask a Registration Representative for your patient code.

Q: What do I need to bring?

A: Please bring:

  • A current photo ID (license)
  • Insurance card
  • Referral if needed
  • Prescription noting what the evaluation is for
  • School reports, for example: IEP or IFSP or other records/documents from school
  • Prior evaluations and relevant medical reports
  • Name/addresses of individuals or professionals you might want the report sent to
  • Current list of medications
  • Guardian papers (if joint, or sole custody)
  • Bring any equipment that your child regularly uses such as eyeglasses, hearing aid, and any augmentative form of communication, (e.g. choice board, PECS, iPad, communication device)
  • A list of questions to ask the therapist.

Q: What should my child wear?

A: Please have your child wear loose comfortable clothing, a pair of socks, and shoes.

Q: Can I bring my other children?

A: If possible, it is recommended that siblings stay home so that the parent can give their undivided attention during the evaluation. Understanding that childcare is sometimes difficult, when bringing siblings, it may be helpful to bring another adult and activities to occupy the siblings during the evaluation.

Q: What if therapy is recommended, will my insurance pay for it?

A: Medical coverage will vary, but many health insurance plans cover our services. Please contact your insurance company to verify if your plan offers a benefit for speech therapy services and if the diagnosis you were given is covered under your policy. Many plans offer a benefit for speech, but often have a medical necessity clause, meaning that some diagnoses are not a covered benefit if they are not deemed medically necessary. If therapy is recommended, our Insurance Verification and Authorization Department will obtain authorization for treatment. Once treatment is approved, you will receive a phone call from our scheduling department to schedule an appointment for treatment. Please note there may be a wait for after school therapy.

Created by the Family Advisory Council at Children’s Specialized Hospital, dedicated to collaborating with Hospital leadership and staff -- empowering families to provide valuable input toward improving organizational policies and practices.

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