Preparing for your appointment

By Mayo Clinic Staff

Your child is likely to start by seeing a doctor trained in the general care and treatment of children (pediatrician) or a doctor trained in treating children with neurological conditions (pediatric neurologist). Your child will then be referred to a specialist in speech and language conditions (speech-language pathologist).

Because appointments have limited time, and because there's often a lot to talk about, it's a good idea to be well prepared for your child's appointment. Here's some information to help you and your child get ready, and what to expect from your child's doctor and speech-language pathologist.

What you can do

  • Write down any symptoms your child is experiencing, including any that may seem unrelated to the reason for which you scheduled the appointment.
  • Bring a list of all medications, vitamins or supplements that your child is taking.
  • Write down questions to ask your child's doctor and speech-language pathologist.
  • Bring a copy of a recent progress report and individual education plan from your child's speech-language pathologist if your child has previously been seen by a speech-language pathologist.

Your time with your child's doctor or speech-language pathologist is limited, so preparing a list of questions ahead of time will help you make the most of your time together. For childhood apraxia of speech (CAS), some basic questions to ask the speech-language pathologist include:

  • Does my child have CAS, or any other speech or language problems?
  • What is CAS?
  • How is CAS different from other types of speech disorders?
  • Is my child's condition going to improve?
  • What treatments are available, and which do you recommend?
  • What can I do at home to help my child?
  • Are there any brochures or other printed material that I can take home with me? What websites do you recommend?

In addition to the questions that you've prepared to ask your child's doctor or speech-language pathologist, don't hesitate to ask questions during your appointment at any time that you don't understand something.

What to expect from your child's speech-language pathologist

Your child's speech-language pathologist is likely to ask you a number of questions. Being ready to answer them may allow more time to ask questions about your child's diagnosis and recommended treatment. Your child's speech-language pathologist may ask:

  • When did you first have concerns about your child's speech development?
  • Did your child babble? For example, did your child produce cooing sounds and then produce syllables, such as "ba-ba-ba" or "da-da-da"? If so, when did that start?
  • When did your child say his or her first word?
  • When did your child have five words in his or her vocabulary that he or she would use frequently?
  • How many words does your child currently have in his or her vocabulary that would be understandable to most people?
  • In what other ways does your child communicate? For example, does your child point, make gestures, make signs or act things out?
  • Has anyone in your family had speech or language difficulties?
  • Has your child had ear infections? About how many ear infections has he or she had?
  • When was your child's hearing tested? Was any hearing loss detected?
May 09, 2013