What is a Comprehensive Speech-Language Evaluation?
A Comprehensive Speech-Language Evaluation is an assessment of communication functioning to determine if there is a speech-language disorder affecting an individual’s functioning for home, school, or the community. While there are particular areas to examine, this testing is highly individualized. The areas assessed may include some or all of the following:
I. Receptive Language - This may include: i. Listening Skills ii. Phonological Awareness iii. (Some) Reading, Decoding and Comprehension
II. Expressive Language III. Speech Production (Articulation & Oral-Motor Skills) IV. Pragmatic (Social) Language
A screening to determine if further testing is needed in the area of (Central) Auditory Processing Disorders ([C] APD) may be administered, if this is not being performed by an Audiologist, and if this is an area of suspected disability.
Also considered is the relationship of cognitive skills to language skills. The cognitive skills include attention span, concentration, memory skills, sequential thought organization, and higher-order thinking skills.
How does this compare to a Basic Speech-Language Evaluation?
A Basic Evaluation is used to evaluate one specific area of communication. For example, stuttering, voice, or articulation would each be an area for which we would perform a Basic Evaluation.
Who would benefit from this type of Speech-Language Evaluation?
A Comprehensive Speech-Language Evaluation can provide important information about individuals who are having difficulty in school due to a suspected language-learning problem.
It will provide detailed input on individuals who are having more difficulty with language-based tasks than with non-language tasks.
Members of a multidisciplinary team also benefit from this information, because it contributes to the total picture of a child’s language, cognitive, and sensory-motor, and behavioral profile.
Why is the cost so high for this evaluation?
The evaluation consists of direct, one-on-one testing. Typically, it can take between 4-6 hours to complete the testing. In some cases (such as with a client who is slow to respond or needs many breaks between tasks), testing will take longer, and there may be “Extended Testing” charges).
Following the testing, the Speech-Language Pathologist will score the tests, analyze the results, review previous records, and write up a thorough report. (If there is more than one hour needed to review records, there may be “Extended Testing” charges.) This process takes between 20 to 30 hours to complete. When one considers the time needed to successfully complete the evaluation process, the hourly costs actually are quite reasonable.
What will you obtain from this Comprehensive Speech-Language Evaluation?
You will receive a thorough evaluation report, including the following sections:
History – (medical, developmental, and educational components)
Current Functional Status – (a summary of current functioning as reported by the family from the history forms sent to you before the evaluation)
Test Results – (charts illustrating test results, and detailed narratives to “paint a clear picture” of the client’s performance on each test)
Behavioral Observations - (in some cases)
Diagnostic Impressions – (to summarize the analysis of the findings)
Prognosis – (an estimate of the client’s potential for making gains)
Estimated Frequency & Duration of Treatment - (an estimate of the amount of therapy needed to meet the goals)
Functional Goals & Treatment Plan – (written plan of action, outlining the areas in need of treatment. If your child is in the public school system, goals will be written that are appropriate to the IEP format.)
Recommendations - (for related services, as needed)
As noted above, the evaluation will be recorded in a formal report. A draft of the report will be sent to you, so that you can proof(read it for accuracy). When you have approved it, we will finalize it on letterhead and mail it out to you. You then are free to distribute it to any advocates, school staff, other team members, and medical professionals, as is appropriate to the client’s needs.
If desired, a meeting to review the report can be scheduled. There may be an additional charge for this meeting.
If needed, a Team Meeting may be scheduled, to discuss the treatment plan with other treating professionals. There will be an additional charge for this type of meeting.
How can the results be used to benefit the client?
Results can be shared at a team meeting for treatment planning, and can be extremely useful for developing optimal educational plans at Individualized Educational Plan (IEP) meetings.
How is payment made for this service?
We work on a private-pay basis, with payment due at the time of service. If you have more than one appointment date, you may pay for the portion completed at each visit.
If you have a related legal case (IEP, mediation, due process), there may be a retainer requested to fund additional records’ review and any related consultation, meeting preparation, and meeting attendance time.
Will insurance reimburse me for this evaluation?
We have seen all outcomes, from 80-90% reimbursement, to a full denial of payment. This depends on your insurance company and your specific benefits plan. We will help you fill out the needed forms for your insurance company, and our report will include any related medical information to support the claim.