Speech and Language Assessment
What Are Speech And Language Needs?
The term ‘speech and language difficulties’ encompasses a wide range of issues that relate to all aspects of communication in children and young people. These can include difficulties with fluency, forming sounds and words, formulating sentences, understanding what others say, and using language in social situations.
Approximately seven per cent of five year old children that enter school in England have significant difficulties with speech and/or language. These children are likely to need specialist and/or targeted intervention at key points in their development.
Approximately one per cent of five year old children in England have the most severe and complex speech, language and communication needs. They may not understand much of what is said to them, they may have very little spoken language and they are likely to be completely unintelligible when they start school. These children often need to use alternative and augmentative means of communication. This group is likely to have a long-term need for specialist help, in school and beyond.
Speech and language difficulties are often associated with other difficulties that the child may be experiencing such as autism, cerebral palsy, hearing loss or more general learning difficulty.
What Can A Speech and Language Assessment Identify?
A speech and language assessment can identify and help if you have problems swallowing, understanding language, forming words and sounds, using spoken language, or co-ordinating facial movements.
Speech and language therapy can help children and adults who have:
- specific speech or language difficulties
- learning difficulties
- physical difficulties
- a hearing impairment
- autism or difficulties with social interaction
- cleft palate
- voice problems
- stammering (stuttering)
What Happens During An Assessment?
The aim of the assessment is to assess and decide if you or your child has a speech and language difficulty. It will also give your speech and language therapist an idea of what treatment you may need.
During the assessment, the speech and language therapist will play with your child and ask them questions to assess if he or she has speech, language or communication problems.
The speech and language therapist may show your child a selection of toys or pictures and ask some set questions. Therapists may use formal or informal assessments or a mixture of both.