Speech Therapy for Children

What do we look for when we assess your child?

This depends on a child’s age and the reason for referral.

We will look for the underlying causes for why communication or learning is not working well for your child.

We will ask for information about their early development and the difficulties as you perceive them, as well as your goals for your child.  This information combined will guide us to start looking at particular areas.

Communication is quite complex, and children need to be proficient in all areas to be good communicators.  
Speech Pathologists break language development into many different components, so that they can accurately identify children’s difficulties and determine the skills to work on.

At a very simple level, Speech Pathologists divide language development into Receptive Language (what is understood) and Expressive Language (talking), as well as Literacy.

Some of the areas that we are likely to look at include:

  • Processing of sound (auditory processing)
    • Identifying where sound is coming from (sound location)
    • hearing the differences between sounds (auditory discrimination)
    • active listening and remembering sounds or words (auditory memory)
  • Talking clearly (articulation) Grammar (sentence structure) – understanding and using sentences
  • Vocabulary – remembering and using a good range of words and parts of speech
  • Grammar (sentence structure) – understanding and using sentences
  • Executive functioning – the frontal lobe functions of the brain that organise the other thinking processes (including working memory, multitasking, attention).
  • Pre-literacy skills (including metalinguistics and phonological awareness– hearing, understanding and thinking about words and sounds)
  • Literacy – reading, writing, remembering, understanding (comprehension) spelling
  • Fluency (absence of stuttering)
  • Understanding (comprehension)
    • basic word concepts
    • following instructions
    • being able to understand connected speech
    • answering questions
  • Telling stories (oral narrative, including personal retells and recounting stories)
  • Categorising – understanding how things are grouped and related
  • Voice – including volume, absence of vocal abuse
  • Social skills – the social use of languageThe use of non-verbal language skills (pragmatics)