Speech and Language Assessments

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The type of assessment used will vary depending on the symptoms your child presents with.

There are two broad categories, 

  • how we pronounce speech sounds(articulation)

  • how we use and understand language(receptive and expressive).

What symptoms would need to be investigated with an articulation assessment?

If you child is displaying the following:

  • difficulty understanding what your child is saying.

  • deleting speech sounds in words. Some examples of this might be: “toe” for the word ‘toad’, “nana” for the word ‘banana’, “pane” for the word ‘plane’.

  • substituting one sound for a different sound. Some examples of this might be: “gog” for the word ‘dog’, “tat” for the word ‘cat’, “wion” for the word ‘lion’.

  • protruding the tongue between the teeth for sounds other than ‘th’. Some examples of this might be: “thun” for the word ‘sun’, “glath” for the word ‘glass’.

  • ‘slushy’ speech sounds. This is referred to as a lateral lisp and is common with the sounds ‘s’, ‘z’, ‘sh’, ‘ch’ and ‘j’.

then you should have it checked out by a Speech Pathologist.

What are some of the assessments used?

There are standardised tests and screening tests. There are a number of assessments a speech therapist could use, here are a couple:

  • The Articulation Survey: Neil Atkin and John Fisher (1996).

  • The Diagnostic Evaluation of Articulation and Phonology (DEAP).

Language Assessments

What are some of the symptoms that my child's Receptive Language might need investigating?

Receptive language is a child's ability to understand and process spoken or written language. If you child is experiencing any of the issues below it may be worth having an language assessment:

  • Understanding long or complex sentences.

  • Understanding the meaning and context of words and sentences.

  • They may appear to be not listening or ignoring you most of the time.

  • They may not keep up with peers, either with school work or socially.

  • They may have behavioural problems or be acting up in class.

  • They may be easily distracted or drift off when listening to speech or stories.

  • They may appear to be forgetful. For example, they only complete part of an instruction or remember part of a shopping list.

Symptoms of problems with Expressive Language?


Expressive language is a child's ability to express themselves and get their meaning across through speaking or writing. The symptoms below would require further investigation.

  • Poor sentence or grammatical structure.

  • Limited content in their speech.

  • Confused meaning and grammar.

  • They generally use short, simple sentences.

  • Difficulty coming to the point.

  • Problems starting or participating in conversations.

  • Difficulty recalling or retelling information.

  • Difficulty completing oral and written narratives and/or assignments.

  • Have trouble finding the right words.

Some of the assessments a Speech Pathologist might use include:

  • The New Reynell Developmental Language Scales (NRDLS)

  • The Clinical Evaluation of Language Fundamentals – Preschool 2nd Edition - Australian Standardised Edition (CELF-P2)

  • The Clinical Evaluation of Language Fundamentals –5th Edition - Australian Standardised Edition (CELF-5):