Speech and Language Screenings and Evaluations

Why are screenings important?

Screenings help ensure a child’s skills are on track as he or she grows & promote early identification and intervention of communication disorders.

Who can benefit?

All children can benefit from having their communication skills screened by a speech-language pathologist, just as they benefit from routine screenings in other areas such as hearing & vision.

What is the difference between a screening and an evaluation?

Provided by a speech-language pathologist, screenings offer a brief assessment of a child’s communication skills in the following areas:

  • articulation
  • voice & fluency
  • language
  • social communication
  • early literacy skills

Screenings are designed to proactively identify children who could benefit from additional assessment and do not confirm or deny the presence of a speech or language disorder.

An evaluation is an in-depth assessment process designed to create a profile of a child’s strengths and weaknesses across domains of speech & language and determine the presence or absence of a speech or language delay or disorder.  

What happens if my child doesn’t pass his or her screening?

The purpose of a screening is to determine if additional assessment is needed and if so, in what domains.  If your child does not pass his/her screening, a speech-language pathologist may:

  • Make plans to monitor and re-screen a child’s speech and/or language skills at a later time
  • Complete a comprehensive diagnostic evaluation
  • Make recommendations for supporting a child’s communication development at home or in the classroom
  • Refer a child to another professional for further assessment if weaknesses in another area is suspected