What areas do Speech-Language Specialists Evaluate?
Is the child difficult to understand when compared to other children their age? Do they:~substitute certain sounds for others?~omit, distort or add sounds?~sound unclear/difficult to understand when speaking in class or making oral presentations?~produce sound errors that are not a result of a hearing impairment, dialect, cultural differences or the influenceof a foreign language?
Does the child have difficulty speaking with fluency? Do they:~avoid talking?~seem tense when speaking?~speak too quickly, slowly or in a choppy manner?~hesitate, prolong or repeat syllables, sounds, words or phrases?~experience or elicit negative reactions when speaking (negative self image)?~make inappropriate facial expressions, gestures or body movements when speaking?
Is the child’s voice appropriate for their age, gender, or stature? Do they:~speak with too high or too low of a pitch?~speak too loudly or softly?~sound as if they always have a cold or sound nasal?~have a hoarse or harsh voice most of the time?~seem to run out of air when speaking?~ lose their voice frequently?
LanguageDoes the child have the signs of a language disorder? Do they:~have trouble putting thoughts into words or understanding others?~have trouble following directions, answering questions, solving problems?~misuse grammar?~speaking in poorly constructed sentences?~have limited vocabulary?~ find it hard to describe objects or events?~have illogical or disorganized thoughts?~have trouble with humor, inferences, idioms, words with multiple meanings?~have literacy limitations?
[Please note that according to N.J.A.C. 6A:14, a referral for a student for whom a language disability is suspected must be forwarded to the child study team. If it is determined at the identification meeting that an evaluation is warranted, the student must be evaluated by a minimum of two child study team members, and other specialists as deemed necessary, in accordance with N.J.A.C. 6A:14-3.4(d).]
(Information provided by New Jersey Speech-Language-Hearing Association and the New Jersey Department of Education)