Childhood Communication Center
What to Expect
Learn what to expect and how to prepare for your visit to the:
- Audiology Clinic
- Cochlear Implant Program (PDF) (Spanish)
- Craniofacial Center
- Genetics Clinic
- Hearing Loss Clinic (PDF) (Spanish)
- Otolaryngology Clinic
- Speech and Language Program
Before the appointment
Complete these forms:
- Aural Habilitation Clinic Intake Questionnaire (DOCX) (PDF)
- Authorization to Exchange Patient Information With School (PDF) (Spanish)
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
A 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.
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.
- A 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.
- 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.
- 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.
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.
For general information on visiting Seattle Children’s clinics, please see Your Child's Clinic Visit.