As a child and my husband as well we both had hearing issues as kids and even as adults so we knew that we needed to monitor our children to ensure that we would know if there were any issues. So once you decide that there is an issue, then the process of assessment and diagnosis begins.
There are two aspects for speech issues that need to be addressed in the process of assessment:
- A comprehensive audiology assessment needs to be carried out first rule out or recognise any areas of hearing loss, difficulties or ear issues such as glue ear.
- An assessment of your child's language skills will need to be carried out by a Speech Pathologist
The biggest issues in this process unfortunately is the wait lists necessary to access these services through the public system. This has been my experience but once in the system it is easier access reviews for audiology. However be prepared for a waitlist and make sure that you let the services know of your concerns. What is ideal is to before you think you need it then put your child's name down.
First up they will ask for a hearing test to be done so if you get that under way it is one less thing to do. In the assessment they will listen to what your child can say ask you questions about how many words they say, what words do they say, how many word sentences do they use and so on. We had problems in this area because our son couldn't even respond to the speech therapist as he was so overwhelmed with fear we didn't know what Selective Mutism was at that time.
Once this is done then you will have an idea of where your child stands. When I finally got a assessment done (after two years of fighting for one) I was quite shocked at how far behind they believed my child to be, so it was a tough moment, we had done EVERYTHING that was needed to be done yet he still struggled. Hopefully you will find that there isn't an issue and he/she is jsut fine! If not please check out my next post on treatment.