SLP Diagnostic Practice (Language)

4 Mar

A language screening is always necessary.

Delayed language acquisition goes hand in hand with speech sound disorders.  It can be a tip-off that there are phonological impairments, cognitive dysfunction, low discriminatory skills, and highly variable contextual performance.

Because language is at the broad part of the speech sound process, both an articulation test and a phonological assessment would probably be warranted in a case of delayed speech or other language problems or English as a Second Language candidates for intervention.

The methods used would be to ascertain just how delayed the speech was in the individual.  Then an articulation test would be administered and probably a phonological test as well to see how many phonological processes are present.  Stimulability combined with language skills would be given.  A spontaneous speech sample would be collected as well.

The phonological assessment would be helpful to see the extent of the problems and get at the root cause of the speech sound errors.  Stimulability combined with language help would be important, because it would help the child recognize perceptual differences and contextual variences in sounds.  Finally, the spontaneous connected speech would give insight about % intelligibility, and overall understanding of language.

Language problems are more difficult to categorize in the absence of cognitive dysfunction.  Often, there is no true origin or reason for the problem, so they would be a functional speech sound disorder.  Response to treatment would vary with extent of problem.  Prognosis is also dependent on diagnosis of the true problem.  Early intervention, speech therapy combined with language cues would be critical for success.

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