Assessments & Consultations

We currently have a waitlist for all individual therapy appointment times after 2pm for the 2016-2017 school year. 


The typical procedure for the assessment is as follows:

1) Fill out a Request for Services Form.  
2) Mail it, scan/email, fax or bring it to our office. Patti Hamaguchi will review it and direct us to the next steps with your child's case.
3) First Visit: The first visit is scheduled with Patti Hamaguchi, which is a morning appointment, usually on a Monday or Friday. We will need all previous reports and patient history filled out and delivered to our office no later than 3 business days prior, in order to have sufficient time to review them. Patti will meet with one or both of the parents, while the child waits in the waiting room with the other parent or with supervision from our front office staff. After the meeting (usually about ten minutes), the child is brought in and Patti will do informal and formal testing tasks at that time. To hold the assessment appointment schedules, you will need to provide a $50 deposit. On the first visit, 1/2 of the total assessment fee is due.

3) Patti Hamaguchi will then formulate an assessment "plan" for the SLP team. The actual administration of the tests is typically carried out by other SLPs on staff and entails several appointments. 

4) Patti Hamaguchi will contact a classroom teacher or other professional you desire as specified on your exchange of information, in order to gain additional information about your child's communication skills in other settings.

5) Two-three weeks after your child's last assessment appointment, we will have a meeting (adults only) to review the results, and will provide you with two copies of the report.



Assessment Services


1. Screenings: A screening is an informal observation of your child that helps us determine if a more comprehensive evaluation is necessary. There are no written reports provided with a screening. The fee is prorated for our time spent with your child and speaking with you afterward. ($188 for a typical 60-minute screening). If a full evaluation is then scheduled, your screening fee will be deducted from the evaluation fee. If the time spent is less, we will pro-rate your fee accordingly.

2. Consultations: A consultation refers to a review of your child's previous reports, informal observation of your child, talking with you about your concerns, and providing input as to the next best course of action. There are no reports provided with a consultative appointment. Should you schedule a full (comprehensive) assessment with our office in the 60 days following the consultation, we will deduct the consultation fee from the total fee for the assessment. You should expect that this would take 60 minutes, depending upon the presenting issues and the number of questions you may have. Fees are $188 (60 minutes).



Evaluations:


3. Articulation Screening: (pronouncing sounds) Informal, without a report for simple cases (only a few sound errors): prorated at the current therapy rate, typically 45 minutes ($142.00) FYI: If you plan to seek insurance reimbursement, you will most likely need to have a formal evaluation (#4 below) completed instead of a simple screening. The articulation assessment provides a report you would need to submit to your insurance company.
What do we do? We typically play and talk with your child so that we may observe the following:

  • How your child produces speech during normal conversation and play
  • How your child’s mouth is functioning during the speech process, being careful to note any physical impediments to producing normal speech
  • Make decisions as to whether or not your child is a good candidate for therapy or should wait until older


4. Articulation assessment only; with oral-motor exam, formal report & review: $299 Includes the following: Review of records and previous reports, administration of informal and formal articulation measures, oral-motor exam; written report (typically about 3 pages) including recommended goals and therapy techniques. Additionally, Patti Hamaguchi reviews each case and report with the treating speech pathologist. The reports are generally necessary for insurance reimbursement. (FYI If your child has difficulties with articulation as well as language, you will want to schedule a comprehensive speech-language assessment instead, which would also include articulation/oral-motor exam. See #5-7 below.)

What do we do? We typically administer the following 2 tests:

  • Goldman-Fristoe Test of Articulation (assesses speech sound errors in words and sentences)
  • Hamaguchi Oral-Motor Assessment (assesses the physical strength and movement of the oral muscles needed for speech)


We also:

  • Observe your child’s speech in a variety of contexts
  • Note and observe your child’s intonation 
  • Rate of speech production
  • Breath support 
  • Ability to chew, swallow and drink correctly
  • The movement of the oral muscles both during speech and at rest
  • Physical features (enlarged adenoids, restricted frenulum, dental issues) that may impede normal speech
  • Look for the presence of interfering hypo or hyper oral sensory issues that are present.


The other purpose of the assessment is to determine what type of speech disorder your child is demonstrating (e.g. Apraxia? Phonological processing? Developmental? Oral-motor weakness?) and develop an appropriate treatment plan for that specific speech disorder. Many times the specific diagnosis is associated with related learning or sensory delays and we will share important information about the nature of the disorder with the parent, as well as any suggestions for the parent to help the child at home.

5. Comprehensive assessment for speech delays for children birth- 6 years: * $1300
Includes the following: review of previous records and patient history, meeting with the child for approximately 2 hours (3 hours maximum) total; administration of informal and formal tests (if the child is capable); scoring and interpretation of reports, speaking with outside professionals who work with the child if requested to a maximum of 30 minutes total; written report (typically 5-7 pages) including recommended goals and course of treatment; 45-minute review of report with parent(s). 
What do we do? We use toys and “play” to observe your child’s skills in the following areas:

  • How and when does the child vocalize?
  • What kinds of sounds or words is the child producing and under what circumstances?
  • Is the child using other means to communicate, such as signing or gesturing?
  • Is there inflection to indicate differences between commenting and asking?
  • What is the child’s articulation pattern? 
  • Are there issues that may suggest a more global delay or autism spectrum disorders?
  • How is the child’s attention span and play behaviors?
  • Does the child understand what is said? Can he point to things?
  • Does the child have oral weaknesses, physical impediments or difficulty with motor planning that may be inhibiting speech development? (Usually done with the Hamaguchi Oral Motor Assessment if the child is cooperative)
  • How does the child interact with the parent and the examiner?


When possible, we do like to attempt some formal testing measures as well, once the child is more comfortable with the environment. We select the tests based on the child’s needs and skill level, but these are a few of the tests we use with this age group: Preschool Language Scale-4 (“PLS”) Goldman-Fristoe Test of Articulation, Peabody Picture Vocabulary Test, Expressive One-Word Picture Vocabulary Test, Rossetti Scale

What kind of information are we looking for?

  • Hearing and tympanometry screening if the child is cooperative and able to respond reliably
  • Vocabulary development
  • Sentence construction in a variety of contexts, including retelling a story, describing, explaining, and   conversational skills
  • Comprehension of language at the word, sentence and story level
  • Word retrieval
  • Articulation
  • If indicated, an oral-motor assessment (for articulation disorders)
  • Voice & Fluency screen
  • Pragmatic (social language use) including eye contact, initiation, reciprocal communication and joint attention
  • Play and interactive skills


For children with significant cognitive and communication deficits:

  • Use of signs, gestures or alternative communication modality


If cognitively and developmentally age:

  • Use of language for higher order tasks, including interpreting humor, sarcasm, inferential language 
  • Written language 


Some tests that we select from include: The RESCA-E (Receptive, Expressive & Social Communication Assessment-Elementary) The Peabody Picture Vocabulary Test, Expressive One Word Picture Vocabulary Test, The Preschool Language Scale-5, the Goldman Fristoe Test of Articulation 2, The Hamaguchi Oral-Motor Assessment, The Rapid Naming Test, and the Phonemic Synthesis Test. In addition, we supplement our findings with informal activities to see how the child functions in a more naturalist context. These include: conversational samples, written language samples, oral reading, and participating in a play activity.


7. Comprehensive speech-language evaluation with auditory skills battery: $1575 (ages 6 and up) Reports tend to be lengthier, typically 8-10 pages. This assessment includes all of the areas above, as well as test batteries that examine auditory skills:

  • Auditory memory for digits, words, and sentences
  • Filtered Speech, Background noise, and dichotic listening tasks
  • Phonemic Awareness (sound position identification, synthesis, segmentation, rhyming, etc.)
  • Auditory discrimination


Some tests that we select from include in addition to those listed in the language section include: The Test of Auditory Processing Skills (TAPS-3) Auditory Processing Abilities Test (APAT), SCAN-C-3 (Auditory Processing Screening Test) Test of Phonological Awareness, Goldman-Fristoe Test of Auditory Discrimination, C-TOPP2 (Comprehensive Test of Phonological Processing 2)

8. Stuttering: We are not currently doing stuttering assessments but will be happy to refer you to a local specialist who does.

9. Supplemental Testing: Many children come to our practice with speech-language evaluations from other speech-language pathologists. In most cases, the information from these evaluations is adequate to begin therapy. However, there are times when other information is needed (such as an in-depth oral-motor evaluation, auditory processing testing, etc.). We will conduct these supplementary tests during your child’s regular therapy session.



Answers to Questions You May Have About the Assessment Process


Q. What if my child screams and cries and won’t do anything the speech pathologist asks him to do?
A. Although rare, this does occasionally happen. We do attempt to establish a rapport with your child and make her comfortable. Usually by the second or third session, the child is more comfortable and less apprehensive about the sessions. Sometimes the child needs a “snack break” to break up the sessions and regroup. However, there are times where a child is simply inconsolable. As stated in the previous section, there is a “maximum” number of hours of scheduled direct time with your child that is included with the assessment fee. All scheduled sessions are counted in this total, regardless of your child’s level of cooperation or speed in responding. If your child fusses or is resistant, we will have less total time to administer the tests. If your speech pathologist feels additional time is needed, you can opt to pay for this time at our therapy rate ($188 per hour) at the conclusion of the scheduled sessions or simply stop the assessment at the end of the maximum # of hours, and use whatever information we have as best we can to write the report.

Q. What if I need to cancel the assessment after I have started the process?
A. Again, this is extremely rare but occasionally parents have family emergencies, unexpected job transfers, or simply decide their child is too fussy to continue. In these cases, you will be charged for the scheduled assessment time up to that point at our usual therapy rate ($188 an hour) and no report will be provided, if we are given at least three days’ notice before the upcoming appointment.

Q. What if I plan to apply for insurance reimbursement?
A. If you plan to seek reimbursement from your health insurance company for an evaluation, you usually must have a written referral from your child’s primary physician before the evaluation. Please be aware that we are not affiliated with any HMO or PPO groups, although many clients receive out-of-network PPO reimbursement or use their company's HSA. Please read our flyer, “If You Intend to Seek Insurance Reimbursement” form.