Influx of Speech Language Evaluations Following COVID

According to the ASHA Leader, one of the many devastations of the COVID-19 pandemic has involved the number of children in traditional school settings who have under-identified speech-language needs. As students have increasingly returned to “brick and mortar” school settings, outpatient clinics around the country have reportedly observed an influx of parents seeking out speech-language evaluations for their children by private entities. Part of this influx is reported to be due to school-based evaluations not being as readily available during the remote learning phase. It has been reported that in outpatient clinic settings, therapy providers often have the time and resources necessary for assessing a child’s communication needs in quick turn around from when parents initially pursue services. It has also been reported that from an outpatient clinic evaluation, diagnostic indicators can help provide families with greater indication of what their child’s educational profile should provide.

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