Early Communication Assessments (1-4)

Early Communication Assessments

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There is no one “standard” or “one size fits all” speech pathology assessment. The aims of an assessment are to:

  • Investigate your concerns and to diagnose or start to diagnose what may be causing these concerns
  • Determine what supports, or management or treatment options may be able to assist you in achieving your goals
  • Review how effective your current supports and management are in meeting your goals

Assessing a toddler who is not yet speaking is very different from assessing a 4-year-old who speaks with a lisp. This means that assessments are tailored to your concerns and your goals


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Before your assessment you will need to think about:

  • Your concerns: why are you seeking a speech pathology assessment?

E.g. are you concerned that your toddler is not yet speaking? Or that your child has a hoarse voice?

  • Your goals: what are you hoping to get out of the assessment?

E.g. are you looking for an explanation or a diagnosis for your difficulties? Support or treatment options? Are you seeking support to access funding?

  • Funding or documentation requirements: are you using funding (e.g. Medicare or health insurance) to help pay for your assessment? Or are you hoping to apply for funding (e.g. NDIS)?

If either of these is the case, it is important that you tell us, as there are specific requirements we need to meet. 

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You will need to tell us about your concernsyour goals for the assessment, and any funding or documentation needs before the day. You will need to complete:

The more information about your concerns and your goals that you provide, the better we can plan and tailor the assessment to your needs. It’s okay if you don’t have all the answers, but the more you tell us about your concerns and your goals, the better we can know what to investigate in your assessment.


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Assessments vary, and are tailored to your concerns and goals. There is no one “standard” speech pathology assessment.

Assessments will always involve:

  • Lots of talking and discussion with you about your concerns and your goals

Depending on your concerns and goals, assessments may also include:

  • Listening to your child’s speech in conversation or while talking about a favourite item or activity
  • Talking about a picture book or reading a reading passage
  • Observing the way your child normally communicates with you as they play with you, or in a familiar activity (e.g. as you give them a snack)
  • Semi-structured play activities for young children
  • Formal, structured, question and answer tasks 
  • Recording your voice and analysing it on the computer
  • Structured reading and writing tasks
  • Looking inside the mouth and checking the muscles and movements
  • Talking to other people, such as family members, teachers, or other people who support your child

After these are completed, the speech pathologist will talk with you about the results.

Assessments vary in length, depending on what and how much we need to investigate. Some assessments are able to be completed in one appointment, while others take multiple appointments. You can contact us to discuss your needs if you would like an estimate of how long an assessment may take.


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This service accepts NDIS participants, as well as individuals who are not NDIS participants.

For children: all children need a recent hearing screening to access the early intervention service. ACT residents can access this at no cost through the Children’s Hearing Service.

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