Children with low muscle tone may struggle with coordinated, controlled movements. A child with high muscle tone will have difficulty moving their legs through their full range of motion. Muscles are tight and children with high muscle tone often have a difficult time alternating their body movements between their right and left sides, making tasks like walking very difficult. Although muscle tone doesn’t change, physical therapy will help your child find ways to strengthen and stretch specific muscles to make movement easier. Physical therapy will also help your child find strategies for managing their muscle tone.
A speech-language pathologist will obtain a variety of scores from the tests utilized in the evaluation. These scores (standard scores, age equivalents and percentile ranks), as well as information from other types of tests, help the speech-language pathologist determine if a child has delayed or disordered language, articulation (speech), voice, or swallowing.
In addition to determining if a language delay or disorder is present, speech-language pathologists may give special tests, observational scales and parent report measures to gather information about social, play, communicative and behavioral patterns that are characteristic of autism. A report is generated that uses this information to help other professionals make diagnostic decisions about whether the child has an autism spectrum disorder and to make recommendations for intervention.