How to monitor your child’s Speech and Language progress
You know your child better than anyone. You have a unique bond that nobody else does and you spend so much time with them you are likely to see things that other people might not. Don’t assume your health professional has all the answers. During a 30 minute appointment they will only be seeing a ‘snap shot’ of you child’s abilities.
Speech and Language therapists assess both formally (using standardised tests) and informally using observation and checklists. With very young children it is not always possible to conduct a standardised test. in this case the SLT will be asking you lots of questions about their level of development to try and build a picture about their overall skills and needs.
- A SLT will want to know about your child’s play skills – this is because play is a good indicator of a child’s level of cognition. Language skills should be developmentally in line with a child’s level of cognition so this is a good place to start.
- They may also ask questions about eating and drinking for the same reason. Eating and drinking difficulties also tells them if there are any anatomical or physiological reasons for your child’s difficulties.
- A good SLT will always ask when their hearing has been tested. A prolonged period of time with reduced hearing can affect the way in which a child’s speech develops. so it is important to get it checked out and know your child’s hearing levels before your appointment.
Where do I start?
If you use this tool put an E for emerging next to the skills that are developing and a tick next to the skills your little one has achieved. Take these along to your next Speech and Language therapy appointment.
Remember you are a key member of your child’s therapy team. Trust your instincts about your child’s abilities and level of skill development, and back it up with evidence!
Make notes, take photos and look at the child development checklists so you can attend appointments knowledgeable and with a sound realistic understanding of your child’s abilities.