Speech and language tests for children

Your child's doctor may apply concepts from basic speech and language assessments during routine checkups. If your child is referred to a specialist for suspected communication delays, additional tests may also be used. The following is a sample of tests used by specialists out of a wide variety of those available.1

Newborn to 3 years:

  • MacArthur-Bates Communicative Development Inventories. This test assesses words and gestures used to communicate.
  • The Rossetti Infant-Toddler Language Scale. Six areas are evaluated, including interaction-attachment, pragmatics, gestures, play, receptive language, and expressive language.
  • Early Language Milestone Scale. This test checks how a child shares thoughts, protests, or comments (expressive language) and how well a child understands language (receptive language).

Newborn to 6 years:

  • Preschool Language Scale-4. This test measures hearing and receptive language skills as well as expressive language.

Ages 2 to 16:

  • Bankson-Bernthal Test of Phonology. Errors are evaluated to identify patterns.
  • Expressive One-Word Picture Vocabulary Test. Vocabulary abilities are evaluated.
  • Goldman-Fristoe Test of Articulation—2. This test examines how well consonant sounds are made.

Ages 3 to 6:

  • Clinical Evaluation of Language Fundamentals—Preschool. This assesses all areas of receptive language skills, components of expressive language, and memory and recall.


  1. Stuart S (2007). Communication disorders. In ML Batshaw et al., eds., Children With Disabilities, 6th ed., ch. 22, pp. 313–323. Baltimore: Paul H. Brookes Publishing.

Last Updated: December 5, 2008

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