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Frequently Asked Questions

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What is the typical length of an evaluation, and what steps are involved in the evaluation process?

Typically, the evaluation process begins with an initial telephone conversation to understand your objectives for the assessment.  Prior to the evaluation, we will review all documentation (previous testing, school reports, IEP, etc.) On the day of the evaluation, we will meet for up to 4 hours of testing. Afterwards, we dedicate several additional hours to score and interpret the obtained results. A follow-up meeting to discuss the findings and recommendations will take place two weeks after the evaluation date. Additionally, you will receive a written report summarizing the evaluation results.

What is the difference between speech and language?

 

Speech is the production of sounds and words or more specifically, speech is pronunciation.  Language is the entire system of communication that encompasses both spoken and written forms, including vocabulary and the rules and structure for conveying meaning. 

What is the impact of spoken language difficulties on the development of written language?

 

Spoken language deficits can significantly impact the development of written language skills. The connection between spoken and written language is intricate, and deficiencies in spoken language abilities can hinder the acquisition and proficiency of written language for several reasons:

  • Vocabulary and Language Comprehension:
    Strong spoken language skills are essential for building vocabulary and understanding complex sentence structures. If an individual struggles with understanding spoken language, their ability to comprehend written texts, which often contain more advanced vocabulary and syntax, can be compromised.
  • Syntax and Grammar:
    Spoken language deficits can lead to difficulties in understanding and using proper syntax and grammar rules. These difficulties can transfer to written language, resulting in errors in sentence structure, tense, agreement, and overall coherence.
  • Phonological Awareness:
    Phonological awareness, the ability to recognize and manipulate sounds in spoken language, is crucial for developing reading and writing skills. If someone has trouble with phonological awareness due to spoken language deficits, they might struggle with decoding words, spelling, and recognizing phonetic patterns in written text.
  • Fluency and Expression:
    A lack of fluency and expression in spoken language can affect the ability to convey thoughts and ideas effectively in written form. Difficulty expressing ideas orally may lead to challenges in organizing and presenting thoughts in writing.
  • Listening Comprehension:
    Written language often relies on comprehension of spoken language for context and meaning. If someone has trouble comprehending spoken language, they might miss key information needed to understand written texts, leading to confusion and difficulty in extracting meaning.
  • Narrative Skills:
    Narrative skills involve the ability to construct and convey coherent stories or explanations. Weaknesses in spoken language can hinder the development of narrative skills, affecting an individual's ability to create well-structured and engaging written compositions.
  • Metacognitive Skills:
    Metacognition refers to the awareness and control of one's own cognitive processes. Spoken language deficits can limit metacognitive skills related to language, such as monitoring comprehension while reading and revising written work for clarity and accuracy.
  • Word Retrieval and Expressive Language:
    Deficits in expressive spoken language can impact an individual's ability to find the right words to convey their thoughts. This can lead to difficulties in generating written content and expressing ideas clearly.
  • Motivation and Confidence:
    Struggling with spoken language skills can lead to frustration, anxiety, and reduced motivation to engage with language-related tasks. This emotional impact can extend to written language tasks, affecting the individual's willingness to practice and improve.
  • Reading Development:
    Since reading is built upon language comprehension, individuals with spoken language deficits might struggle to grasp the meaning of written texts, making it harder for them to progress in reading comprehension.

It's important to note that not all individuals with spoken language deficits will experience the same challenges in written language development. Interventions, support, and tailored instruction can make a significant difference in addressing these difficulties and helping individuals improve their written language skills.

What is a Speech-Language pathologist’s role in the identification and treatment of reading and writing disorders?

Speech pathologists possess a deep understanding of linguistic systems encompassing syntax, phonology, morphology, semantics, and pragmatics.  They recognize that Dyslexia is a language-based learning disorder. According to the position statement on literacy by the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA), speech-language pathologists play a vital role in fostering literacy skills among children and adolescents struggling with communication disorders. Research findings indicate that children who experience speech and language difficulties are at a significantly higher risk, around 4 to 5 times more likely, to encounter literacy challenges compared to their peers without such language disorders.

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