Speech-Language Screening: What are the Benefits?

What is a Speech and Language Screening? A speech-language screening is a quick, one-on-one, look at your child’s communication skill set and social interactions. It involves a Speech Pathologist taking a “snapshot” look at your child's oral-motor movements (the nervous system innervation and movement of the mouth), speech (how your child pronounces sounds) and language (how your child comprehends and processes information, follows directions, answers questions, vocabulary skills, etc.), hearing, play behavior and social interactions. Some or all aspects will be assessed depending on your child’s age.

Why is a Speech and Language Screening Important?

Speech and language skills are used in every part of learning and communicating with the world around your child. Early childhood screening is key in identifying delays or potential underlying conditions that may negatively impact your child’s development and academic success. For example, in Kindergarten, your child will be required to learn in a highly structured environment that will require the ability to follow directions, understand ideas presented within the classroom and respond, communicate with their peers and teachers, exhibit play skills, and use appropriate social interactions throughout the school day. This screening “snapshot” of your child’s skill sets allows the licensed Speech Pathologist to make further recommendations for further comprehensive evaluations if delays or concerns are noted.   

Generally speaking, screenings can help determine if there are any issues that need to be addressed before they become bigger problems for your child. The earlier an issue or delay is addressed, the better it is for your child to overcome the deficit and succeed. 

How is Hearing Screened?

A hearing screening is part of the Silver Linings Speech-Language comprehensive screening that evaluates a child’s ability to hear by measuring the ability of sound to travel through the hearing nerves to the brain. A pure tone audiometer will be used to conduct the screening.  Your child will be asked to wear headphones and indicate (i.e. by raising a hand) when he/she hears a sound in the headphones.  This screening tool yields a “pass” or “did not pass” result.  If a child did not pass the screening, a comprehensive screening will be recommended, and a resource list will be provided. 

Why are Hearing Screenings Important?

Normal hearing in children is important for normal speech and language development.  Hearing problems can cause problems with speaking, understanding and using language, and the ability to learn in an academic setting.  

What Results will be Provided?

The parent/guardian will be provided with the results of the screening indicating if further comprehensive evaluation is needed in a specific area.

If you are interested in requesting a Speech-Language screening, you are welcome to contact the Silver Linings Office at 256-489-1583 or by email at office@silverliningsclinic.com.

Speech, Language, & Swallowing - ASHA
Hearing Screening & Hearing Test - ASHA

Jennifer Saliba, CCC-SLP
Speech Language Pathologist

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