Speech Language Assessments vs. Speech Language Evaluations

Our clients are often curious about the difference between a speech language assessment and a speech language evaluation. Both are important tools for evaluating a person’s speech. The core difference is that assessments are used to diagnose speech issues before any sort of training, and evaluations are used to determine what progress has been made at the end of a training cycle.

Speech Language Assessment

A speech assessment is diagnostic in nature. During an initial assessment, the person being assessed will sit down with a speech language pathology professional and undergo a series of simple speech-based tests. The process shouldn’t be intimidating or overwhelming. With the information that the pathologist gathers, they will assess the person’s speech patterns, strengths, and weaknesses against some standardized and some non-standardized measures of speech and language skill. The goal is to diagnose any current issues and come up with a plan for addressing those issues in a constructive and supportive manner.

Speech Language Evaluations

After working with a speech pathologist for a while, it makes good sense to do a speech language evaluation. Evaluations are used to measure progress and re-assess how well current therapies are working. An evaluation may or may not utilize standardized measures of speech or language skill. Usually the goal of an evaluation is to measure individual progress, so standard metrics can be less useful. In school settings, evaluations are usually done no more than three years after speech therapy begins. In a corporate setting, an evaluation might be done a few weeks or a few months into training to help measure growth and determine whether adjustments should be made to the therapy routine.

Tools for Growth

Both speech assessments and speech evaluations are helpful tools for guiding individual speech therapy. By starting out with clear goals and regularly measuring progress toward those goals, students can get a better grasp of their progress, which may be hard to recognize without outside feedback. That’s one of the great things about effective speech therapy – your speaking habits will change and develop in a way that becomes second nature. You may not hear the difference, but the people around you surely will.

To learn more, or to meet with a speech pathologist in Chicago, please take the time to contact our office today.