Monday 9 November 2020

Is Speech and Language Assessment Important For a Child?

What are the Constituents of Speech and Language Assessments? 

By definition, speech and language assessment is the measurement of a person’s communication skills and is mainly used to determine whether one has a language and communication problem or not. The parameters of this assessment constitutes production, comprehension, pragmatic and figurative language,  nonverbal communication and gesture, prosody, volume, rhythm, and content of speech. 

Why do Children Develop Communication Disorders?

There are often some events that we cannot control and the most significant example of this would be, an accident or a health disorder. As a child is growing up, they become more and more susceptible to some external physical or psychological harm that can limit their normal well-being and functioning. The most common problem that we find in children when they are under such pressure is a communication or a language disorder. In such cases, a child should be taken to a clinical practitioner known as a speech therapist. When a speech and language assessment is carried out, it will give parents a better outlook of what problem their child is facing and then chalk out the course of help that they need to take up in order to help their child as early as possible.  

Why do Children need to be Treated at the Earliest?

In most cases, speech and language assessment is required by children who have problem in communication due to some kind of illness or disorder. There are eries of factors and clinical tests that are used to determine whether a child is in need of speech therapy or not. Based on the age and extent of the problem, the assessment may be conducted in one or more sessions. 

What Kind of Evaluation can be Expected?

When a child is taken for a speech and language assessment, it is supposed to be an interactive session of the child, parents, and the practitioner. The parents will be asked to answer various questions about their child’s background. These may include:

  • Health and development history: This includes whether the child has any history of physiological or psychological illness and whether there has been any diagnosis for the same or not. Development history includes the age at which child started doing various activities that will help to get an idea about how the child should be evaluated. 
  • Family background: A comprehensive idea of the child’s family association and history of health problems in the family, any recurring family history of hearing or speech disability etc.  
  • School or social circle: This includes information about the interaction that the child had in school or in friend circle which could suggest some problems arising because of a shock or psychological impact.

Other than these interactive exercises, there are tests including response tests and motor abilities that can give the clinician an idea about whether or not the physiological factors are the reason behind child’s problems regarding communication. 

What can be the Impact of this Treatment?

There are many aspects that have to be considered in a child’s speech and language assessment. While interacting with a child, the practitioner has to look at the complete picture. This may include discussing pictures, incidents, objects, or toys, and how the child is reacting to all of those things. 

Through a clinical evaluation, a speech and language assessment of a child aims to find out:

  • The strengths and weaknesses of a child regarding their communication skills. 
  • Whether there has been any kind of external or psychological impact that may have caused some kind of distress, causing the child to develop a problem.
  • Any kind of disorder that is limiting the child’s ability to function and what should be the next step in the treatment

If any problem is diagnosed, a proper plan of treatment has to be drawn up by the clinician and the parents, so that within a course of time, the child is able to gain his/her power of communication and get back into a healthy life he/she deserves.

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