Structural-Functional Examination

The structural-functional evaluation is an important component of a complete speech assessment. Its purpose is to identify or rule out structural or functional factors that relate to a communicative disorder. Minimally, you will need:

You may also need

A complete oral examination includes an assessment of diadochokinetic rates, which measures a client's ability to produce rapidly alternating articulatory movements.

Interpreting the Structural-Functional Examination

Valid interpretation of findings from an oral-facial examination requires an understanding of the anatomic, physiologic, and neurologic bases of the oral-facial structures and their functions, combined with experience in performing oral-facial examinations and assessing the relationship between oral-facial integrity and communicative function. Sophistication in administering these examinations takes time and a good deal of experience to develop.

Several common observations from an oral-facial examination and possible clinical implications are described below. Recognize that this is not an all-inclusive list, nor does it exhaust the potential implications of each finding. Beginning clinician will need to rely on class notes and anatomy, physiology, and neurology textbooks as well as the chapters on oral examinations in diagnostic textbooks.