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Your First Visit

What To Expect At Your Initial Speech Therapy Evaluation

Approximately 1-2 days before your scheduled speech and language evaluation, you should receive a call from your evaluating therapist.  She will introduce herself and briefly discuss your primary area/s of concern regarding your child’s communication.

 

This will help the clinician make decisions about what formal tests to select for the evaluation. If we have received your case history form, she might also review your case history and ask any additional questions she might have regarding your child’s developmental and medical histories.  Discussing these items prior to the evaluation allows the therapist enough time for both formal and informal assessments during the actual evaluation.  In general, most initial speech and language evaluations will examine the following areas of communication:

 

  1. Articulation – your child’s ability to produce speech sounds and his/her overall speech intelligibility. Articulation may be examined through administration of a formal test and/or conversational context.

  2. Language – your child’s expressive and receptive skills will be assessed through use of formal testing and through direct interactions with your child during testing. Areas of language assessed include receptive and expressive vocabularies, ability to understand and answer questions, following directions and use of grammar and syntax.

  3. Oral Motor – an examination of your child’s speech mechanism will be conducted to assess adequacy of structure and function for speech production.

  4. Hearing Screening– if your child has not had a recent hearing screening, your evaluating therapist may decide to screen your child’s hearing during the evaluation using a portable pure tone audiometer.

  5. Voice and Fluency– Unless there are specific concerns related to voice and fluency (stuttering), these areas are most likely to be informally assessed in the evaluation context. Be sure to let your therapist know if you have concerns in these areas so that she can assess them with greater depth if necessary.

  6. Social/Pragmatic Language Skills– through conversational interactions with your child, the therapist will assess your child’s conversational skills including topic initiation, turn-taking, topic maintenance, greeting/parting behavior, etc.

  7. Play Skills – for younger children, the clinician may assess a child’s play skills through engaging them in play interactions. Play often reveals additional information about your child’s cognitive, linguistic and social functioning that may not be readily observed through use of a standardized assessment tool.

 

At the conclusion of the evaluation, your evaluating therapist will discuss her clinical impressions and recommendations for therapy including the frequency and duration (e.g. 1x/week for 30 minutes).   If therapy is recommended, you will be guided to the Client Care Coordinator to create an ongoing appointment.  You will receive a written report of your evaluation typically within 2 weeks after the evaluation.

What To Expect At Your Initial Occupational Therapy Evaluation

About the Evaluation:

Occupations for a child are anything that a child needs to do to participate in their life to the fullest.

This includes things like:

  • Activities of Daily Living (examples: eating, dressing, bathing, toileting)
  • Instrumental Activities of Daily Living (examples: helping care for a pet, completing chores)
  • School Participation (examples: writing, work behaviors, executive functioning)
  • Play
  • Social Participation (at home, school, and community)
  • Sleep

An occupational therapy evaluation will consider your child’s occupations and potential underlying areas that may be limiting your child throughout their day.  It is our belief that when children are able to fully participate in their desired occupations that improved self-esteem, self-efficacy, meaningful relationships, and joy in life are truly possible.

Before the Evaluation:

  • Once your evaluation is scheduled, you will be asked to fill out client paperwork prior to your visit, this paperwork must be completed prior to the day of evaluation.
  • We will also need a prescription from the referring physician.
  • Your evaluating therapist will reach out via phone call or email to introduce themselves and confirm your appointment a day or two before the appointment.

At the Evaluation:

Most evaluations will be completed over 2 evaluation appointments.

What to Expect at the First Appointment:

  • The first appointment will primarily focus on an interview with you as the caregiver regarding your child’s history, current participation strengths and needs, discuss what goals you have for your child and family, and begin to establish rapport and initial clinical observations of your child.  The first appointment will typically last about minutes to 45 minutes – 1 hour and will include the following:
    • 30-45 minutes with your evaluating therapist
    • New client orientation with our Intake Coordinator
    • At the second evaluation appointment, you may be with a different therapist depending on your schedule availability. The therapist will further focus on what possible underlying issues / needs may be creating barriers for your child to meet the goals you and your therapist discussed.

A few examples:

  • It could be that coordination delays and decreased core strength is impacting their ability to complete tasks such as climbing playground equipment, participating in PE, handwriting, and riding a bike.
  • It could be that visual perception delays are making it difficult for your child to write.
  • It could be that your child seems to over react in social situations and there is an underlying sensory processing need making their days challenging.
  • It may be that underlying oral motor and sensory needs are impacting your child’s ability to eat a healthy diet.

Our goal is to investigate possible underlying contributing factors and create an individualized plan which celebrates your child’s strengths in order to address their needs and goals.  Based on the results of the second appointment, the therapist will establish a specific plan of care and goals for your child.

After the Evaluation:

If therapy is recommended, the Client Care Coordinator will assist you in scheduling ongoing therapy.  You will be provided with a copy of the evaluation report approximately 2 weeks after the second visit.

We are excited to meet you and thankful that you chose us to partner with your family!

 

What To Expect At Your Initial Physical Therapy Evaluation

Approximately 2-5 days before your scheduled physical therapy evaluation, you should receive a call or an email from your evaluating therapist. She will introduce herself and confirm your appointment. Most physical therapy evaluations will take place over 2 separate appointments.

 

 

At your first appointment, the therapist will review your case history and ask any additional questions she has regarding your child’s developmental and medical histories. The therapist will be most interested in your goals for therapy – what will success look like? The therapist will observe your child participating in a variety of “play” activities in our sensory motor gym in order to informally assess his/her strengths and needs. The information you provide will help the clinician make decisions about what formal tests to select for the evaluation. Typically, this first visit will take approximately 30-45 minutes. The formal testing will take place on the second visit, which will take approximately 1 hour.

 

In general, most physical therapy evaluations will examine the following areas of physical characteristics and gross motor development:

1. Range of Motion – the movement of a joint from end range to end range. This is assessed through the passive or active movement of a joint. Specific measurements may be taken if a joint appears limited.


2. Strength – is typically evaluated based on clinical observations of your child’s quality of movement with various gross motor skills and transitions between positions. Strength may also be formally assessed using a standardized test depending on your child’s age.
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3. Muscle Tone – the amount of muscle contraction at rest. This is assessed by the resistance felt during passive movement. Increased muscle tone is noted by increased resistance or rigidity of the muscle. Low muscle tone is noted when the muscle feels loose or floppy.
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4. Balance – is evaluated through clinical observations and/or standardized testing.
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5. Gait – the manner of walking. This is evaluated through observation. The therapist may ask permission to video your child to be able to assess and analyze his/her gait pattern more in depth. This may also include running and walking up and down stairs.
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6. Posture – position of the body in standing or sitting. This not only includes the orientation of the head, neck, and trunk, but also the symmetry and alignment of the hips, legs, and feet.
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7. Gross Motor Skills – crawling, running, jumping, and other large movements of the body. The therapist will assess the ability of your child to perform certain skills as well as their quality of movement.

 

At the conclusion of the evaluation, the therapist will guide you to the Client Care Coordinator for your new client orientation. She will make sure that you are set up for your second appointment if one is necessary. If ongoing therapy is recommended, you will discuss this with our office staff and we will try to find a day and time that works best for you and your child. You will receive a written report of your child’s evaluation typically within 2 weeks.