Speech/Language Referral

Parents know their children best and sometimes have concerns about their children’s communication abilities (expressive language, receptive language, and pragmatic language/social language use).  There are many communication disorders that may contribute to difficulty with functional everyday communication, speech pronunciation, listening comprehension, oral language, and literacy skills. Speech, language, and literacy challenges may negatively impact a child socially or academically.

Speech/Language Disorders include:

  • articulation disorder
  • phonological disorder
  • receptive/expressive language disorder
  • pragmatic language
  • motor speech (e.g. childhood apraxia of speech)
  • speech fluency disorder (e.g. stuttering)
  • reading disorder/written expression disorder (e.g. specific learning disability, language-based learning disability/dyslexia, dysgraphia)

According to the DSM-5, Neurodevelopmental Disorders include Intellectual Disability, Autism Spectrum Disorder, Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder, as well as Communication Disorders, and Motor Disorders.

In addition, reading disorder includes deficits with word reading accuracy, reading rate or fluency, and reading comprehension (DSM-5). Children with language-based learning disability often have language impairment with reading, writing, and spelling that negatively impacts more than one language domain of semantics, morphology, phonology, syntax, etc. Parents, speech/language pathologists, and educators may see various terms or labels for reading disorders including dyslexia, reading disability, and specific learning disability.

Private Practice Referral:

Prescription from a pediatrician for speech/language evaluation

Parent initiation of private speech/language evaluation

Speech/Language/Literacy evaluation completed

Diagnosis based on DSM V Criteria

Payment through insurance or private pay

SLP makes recommendations regarding the need for speech/language therapy services from a state licensed, ASHA (American Speech Language Hearing Association) Certified speech/language pathologist.

School-Based Referral:

In the school setting, usually either the teacher or parent expresses concern about a child’s communication skills. The procedure in the school system is different from private practice for new referrals. There is an RTI/MTSS process for referrals for special education and the speech/language program is in the special education department.  Speech language pathologists or SLPs provide speech/language interventions for teachers to implement in the classroom based on teacher and/or parent concerns. General education teachers must collect data based on areas of concern.  Data is collected for up to 12 weeks and discretion may be made by the SLP and Student Support Team (SST) to expedite the process as needed for more immediate consideration of special education.

The SLP completes a comprehensive speech/language evaluation. A Special Education eligibility meeting is held, and a determination is made if a child qualifies for services under the Speech/Language Impairment eligibility. An Individualized Education Plan (IEP) is developed for one year if a child is eligible for services. This plan is reviewed annually. A re-evaluation is completed every three years in the public school system.

It is important to note that school-based speech/language pathologists have varying credentials and areas of expertise. All school-based clinicians are licensed in their state to practice in the field of speech/language pathology. However, only some have a national certification from the American Speech Language Hearing Association (ASHA). They are skilled professionals who are able to assess and remediate communication and language disorders for children and adolescents with a wide range of communication, functional, and educational needs.

If you need a comprehensive speech/language evaluation for your child, contact a licensed and ASHA certified speech/language pathologist in your area. Building Successful Lives Speech & Language Services provides culturally responsive assessments for children and adolescents in the metro Atlanta area. Make an inquiry via the contact page for more information about scheduling a private practice speech/language/literacy evaluation.