Unlocking Communication Potential: Your Guide to Speech Pathology Assessments

Completion of assessments is a big part of the role of a speech pathologist. Please see below as we explore the range of informal and formal assessment which we complete at Happy Dots to help decide if your child may benefit from a speech pathology assessment.

Why Assess?

Assessment is an important aspect of the speech pathology process to:

  • Determine if your child has difficulties in an area of communication
  • Diagnose a speech or language disorder
  • Support an application for funding such as NDIS
  • Help set goals to be worked towards in speech pathology sessions
  • Measure the progress your child is making in speech pathology sessions
  • Identify your child’s strengths in communication

Assessment can either be completed as a once to establish where your child’s skills are at the single point in time or assessment can occur yearly to measure progress.

Types of Assessments

There are several different forms of speech pathology assessments, which fall into two main categories: formal and informal assessments.

  • Formal assessments provide standardised scores which compare your child’s skills to children of a similar age. Formal assessments typically take longer to complete and come with a written report in which the results are discussed with the family and client (where appropriate) in a feedback session. Some formal assessments can help support a diagnosis such as Developmental Language Disorder or Speech Sound Disorder.
  • Informal assessments are shorter, less structured assessments. They provide an overview of your child’s skills in an area of communication but do not compare their results to children of a similar age. Informal assessments do not typically come with a written report and cannot be used for diagnostic purposes.
  • Screening assessments – Screening assessments are short assessments which provide a snapshot of a child’s communication skills and indicate whether further assessment or intervention is required. Screening assessments are typically completed on all children in class or group at a preschool or school.

Different Areas to Assess

Speech Pathologists at Happy Dots can complete formal and/or informal assessments in the following areas of practice:

  • Speech
  • Expressive and Receptive Language
  • Pragmatic Language / Social Communication
  • Fluency (stuttering)

Assessment Process

The first step in undertaking a speech pathology assessment is contacting Happy Dots to book in an initial consultation with a speech pathologist. During an initial consultation a detailed background history will be collected to gain an understanding of your child’s developmental history, current presentation and strengths and weaknesses in relation to communication skills. During this initial session the speech pathologist will advise if a formal or informal assessment is recommended, and assessment sessions will be booked in if required.

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