Evaluation Process at Curlee

We are excited you have trusted Curlee Communication Consultants with your child’s speech and language evaluation! We look forward to working with you as a team to address your child’s needs. You may be wondering what the evaluation process will entail, so here are a few tips on what to expect when you come!

It may look like play – Play skill development goes hand-in-hand with cognitive and language development. Children learn through play; as therapists, we learn about your child’s language skills by watching and engaging with them through play. During this time, we are looking for their understanding of vocabulary, their ability to follow directions, their understanding of the use of objects, and much more.

We may ask you to join in We want to obtain a well-rounded and accurate picture of your child’s language skills. We may ask to watch you interact with them, in the hopes of creating as natural an environment as possible. We will also ask you questions to determine if what we are seeing in the session matches what you are seeing in the home.

What we are looking for – As Speech-Language Pathologists, we do not diagnose disorders or syndromes. We are specifically looking for speech and language delays. This is our area of expertise. We, of course, take into account any associated diagnosis that we are aware of, but our focus is solely on speech and language, and making appropriate referrals, if necessary.

We are testing, but it should not feel that way – We sometimes use a “standardized assessment” as a measure of your child’s speech and language skills. This is useful because we are able to compare your child’s abilities with those of their same-aged peers. This helps us understand what areas your child has room for growth in, and is useful in qualifying for therapy services. However, even when administering a standardized test, we are creative in how we use these assessments We never want your child to feel like they are being “tested.” We are able to administer many standardized tests in a way that feels like play to the child.

Our goal is to create a safe, engaging, and supportive environment that challenges your child to develop the skills they need to be successful. You are an important part of that process. If you have any other specific questions about the evaluation, or what to expect, please reach out to us at any time.

Lynde Blakely M.A., CCC-SLP

Autism Awareness Month

The month of April is designated as Autism Awareness Month.

Here are 10 facts about Autism Spectrum Disorder that you can share with your family and friends to help Support, Educate, and Advocate for your child/student/client with Autism.

  • In 2018, the CDC determined that approximately 1 in 59 children is diagnosed with an Autism Spectrum Disorder.
  • There is no medical detection for Autism or medical “test” that can be run to determine if a child has Autism. 
  • Autism is not a physical disorder. Individuals with Autism do not necessarily “look” different from typically developing peers. 
  • There are many theories as to what causes Autism. Genetical differences have been noted in many studies but there is still no single known cause of Autism.  Much research is still needed.
  • According to the CDC, boys are 4 times more likely than girls to have Autism (1 in 37 boys, 1 in 151 girls). 
  • Autism affects children of all nationalities and socioeconomic status.
  • Co-existing medical conditions are common with Autism including anxiety, seizure disorders, attention deficit disorders, language impairments, fine and gross motor impairments, chronic sleep problems, and gastrointestinal disorders.
  • Autism is a lifelong disorder. Children do not outgrow Autism.
  • Each individual with Autism is unique. No two individuals with Autism are alike.
  • There is no cure for Autism, but early intervention can improve communication and underlying brain development. 

If you would like to learn more about Autism Spectrum Disorder or would like to begin early intervention speech therapy for your child, contact Curlee Communication Consultants at 865-693-5622. You can also email us at [email protected] or visit our website at http://www.TNspeech.com.

Additional resources and information on Autism Spectrum Disorders can be found at Autism Speaks, The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Autism Society, and The National Autism Association.

-Jessica M. Lenden-Holt MA CCC-SLP