Best Practices for Evaluating Bilingual Speech in Children
Evaluations need to be cumulative (across all languages) not comparative (one language vs. the other).
Just being fluent in two languages isn't enough. You have to be trained to understand and diagnose disorders across multiple languages in a cumulative manner.
The lack of properly trained, bilingual speech therapists is one of the main reasons I started this practice. Fluency in two languages is not enough to qualify you to do speech therapy in another language. This article does a great job of explaining some of the problems with actually conducting evaluations in children who are bilingual.
One of the problems the article addresses is the one of comparison. Sometimes, a child will be evaluated between the two languages they speak. This article suggests that evaluations need to be cumulative for a number of reasons, not the least of which is that a child may have a speech or language disorder in BOTH languages.
I strongly urge parents of bilingual children to read this article and then call me today if they are frustrated with their child's progress. Speech and language disorders do not get better with time or improved understanding of the first or second language. Stop being frustrated and contact me today!