What is speech-language pathology?

Speech-language pathology is a health profession aimed at helping individuals develop effective communication skills. At the Center for Autism and Related Disorders (CARD), we focus on treating the pediatric population.

Our Team:

Speech-language pathologists are educated and trained to evaluate and treat children and adults with speech, language and swallowing problems. At the Center for Autism and Related Disorders (CARD), we focus on treating the pediatric population.

What is a speech-language evaluation?

A speech-language evaluation at CARD is performed by a speech-language pathologist to gain insight into a child's developing speech, language, and social communication skills. A speech-language pathologist will obtain a variety of scores from the tests utilized in the evaluation. These scores (standard scores, age equivalents and percentile ranks), as well as clinical observation and information from other types of tests, help the speech-language pathologist determine if a child has a language impairment.

In addition to determining if a language impairment is present, speech-language pathologists at CARD may give special tests, observational scales and parent report measures to gather information about social, play, communicative and behavioral patterns that are characteristic of autism. These test results along with clinician impressions help other professionals make diagnostic decisions about whether the child has an autism spectrum disorder and to make recommendations for intervention.

What tests are used in a speech-language evaluation?

Formal/standardized tests can be administered to evaluate a variety of skills including receptive and expressive language, pragmatic language, and articulation. Informal tests may include an oral-motor examination, language samples, structured play observations, caregiver questionnaires and checklists that will help provide additional information to supplement the formal tests administered.

Why is a speech-language evaluation beneficial?

The recommendations from a speech-language assessment may address:

  • Referrals for additional evaluations or therapy services at KKI or in the community
  • Suggestions for goals to be addressed in the child’s speech and language therapy.
  • Educational recommendations (i.e., may suggest supports or accommodations to address the child’s language deficits in their school program)
  • Ideas for activities at home that will help facilitate language/communication/play/social skills

What areas are addressed in speech-language treatment?

Speech-language treatment plans and goals are created and implemented based on the child's individual needs. Individual therapy may address:

  • Functional and pretend play skills
  • Reciprocal social interaction and social communication skills
  • Expressive and receptive language skills
  • Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC)
  • Literacy skills