Childhood Communication Center

What to Expect

Epic, Our New Electronic Health Record, Launched October 3

We are excited to launch Epic, our new electronic health record! You may notice us doing things differently, such as using more electronic devices and less paper. As always, your safety is our highest priority and we are here to answer any questions you may have.

If you have an upcoming appointment:

  • Make sure to be at the registration desk no later than 15 minutes before your appointment. This may mean that you need to arrive at the clinic location 20–25 minutes before the appointment, so you can complete parking and entrance procedures before registration. This will help us ensure that your visit can begin on time.
  • Bring your current medication list so we can check our records carefully and make sure everything is correct.

COVID-19: What to Expect for Your Child’s Safety at In-Person Appointments

We’ve made a lot of changes to our facilities to protect our patients, families and staff from covid-19. Every patient is allowed to have a maximum of one parent or caregiver accompany them. Everyone else, including siblings of any age, may not come along. When you come for your appointment, you will see that we’re requiring everyone to wear masks at all times, cleaning check-in and registration desks between visits, screening for symptoms at all entrances and have set up our spaces to encourage social distancing. Watch what to expect at your clinic visit during your COVID-19 (video). Learn more about the rest of the safety measures we have in place.

Clinic Visit

Learn what to expect and how to prepare for your visit to the:

  • Before the appointment

    Complete these forms:

    What to bring

    • Hearing aids, cochlear implant(s) or other hearing devices (please bring your cochlear implant remotes as well
    • A favorite book or toy
    • A snack or lunch, if you are scheduled for more than one appointment. You can also visit the hospital cafeteria.

    What to expect during an AH evaluation

    speech and language pathologist (SLP) or an audiologist specializing in hearing loss and auditory–oral development will assess your child’s auditory, speech and language skills. This usually takes 90 minutes.

    During the evaluation, your child will be engaged in structured and unstructured tasks. For an older child, this may include answering questions, pointing to pictures and interacting with the examiner. For a younger child, the evaluation may be more play-based and will include a parent interview.

    Shortly following the assessment, you will receive a formal evaluation report that will include test results and professional recommendations.

    For more information, please read Aural Habilitation Therapy (PDF) (Spanish).

  • Before the appointment

    Preparing your child

    • Read the book What to Expect When You Come to the VPD Clinic at Seattle Children’s on our What to Expect Photo Books page.
    • See Evaluating VPD in Your Child (PDF) (Spanish).
    • If you are worried about how your child will tolerate the procedure, contact us at 206-987-2014 and ask to have a child life specialist contact you before the appointment and/or attend your appointment. Child life specialists are professionals who work with children and families to help relieve tension, express concerns and fears and feel more in control about their medical experience.
    • Learn more about preparing your child for a clinic visit.

    What to bring

    • A favorite book or toy.
    • A snack or lunch, if you are scheduled for more than one appointment. You can also visit the nearby hospital cafeteria.

    What to expect during a VPD clinic visit

    Your child may need 1, 2 or 3 appointments to complete an evaluation for velopharyngeal dysfunction (VPD). Before someone calls you to schedule, we will determine which appointments your child may need.

    First test

    • speech and language pathologist (SLP) specializing in VPD will assess your child’s speech. This usually takes 30 minutes to an hour. It is called a perceptual VPD evaluation.
    • After speech testing, your child may have 1 or 2 additional tests, or they may be done for the day. Additional tests are scheduled an hour or more after the speech test.

    Second test

    • If your child may need surgery or a speech appliance, they will see an ear, nose and throat doctor (otolaryngologist).
    • The doctor will insert a flexible tube into your child’s nose to see the back of their throat. This is called a nasopharyngoscopy.
    • Depending on the specific information needed to plan surgery, your child may still have one more test, or they may be done for the day.

    Third test

    • Sometimes we do a video X-ray of your child’s palate and throat while they talk. This is called a video fluoroscopic speech study.
    • The speech language pathologist does this test.

    We record these procedures and review them with you. Our recommendations are based on the results of these tests.

    For more information, see Evaluating VPD in Your Child (PDF) (Spanish).

    Visit length

    If you schedule all 3 speech testing appointments on the same day, you will be at the hospital most of the day.

    If you do speech testing first and have the other 1 or 2 procedures on a different day, you should allow a half-day for those appointments. They usually happen on the 2nd and 4th Wednesday and Thursday of the month.

More Information

For general information on visiting Seattle Children’s clinics, please see Your Child's Clinic Visit.

Directions, Parking and Entering

Find details on our map and directions for Seattle Children’s main campus. Arrive 15 minutes before your appointment to allow time for registration.