Sunday, March 10, 2013

Resource Review: Speech Language Assessment Checklist for Preschool Children

Recently I did a guest post for Tatyana over at Smart Speech Therapy, LLC on working with preschool students who have significant special needs.  (Missed that post? Check it out HERE).  Since I spend most of my time in preschool, Tatyana asked me to check out her newest resource:  

Speech Language Assessment Checklist for 
Preschool Children 3:0-5:11 Years of Age.


There are many tests out there designed for use with this age range.  However, not all tests are appropriate for all students.  So, Tatyana devised this resource "to assist speech language pathologists in the decision making process of how to select appropriate assessment instruments and prioritize assessment for preschool children."  Using this resource, you will be able to select appropriate tests to best assess a child's skills, as well as eliminate administration of irrelevant tests.



This resource is a 9-page pdf document. It comes with directions, a checklist to be used as part of the referral process (to be filled out by the child's caregiver and teacher), suggested tests/test batteries, and a supplemental caregiver/teacher data collection form.

The "Speech and Language Assessment Checklist for Preschool Children" is a comprehensive checklist that looks at the following areas:
  1. Receptive Language
  2. Memory, Attention and Sequencing
  3. Expressive Language
  4. Speech (Pronunciation)
  5. Voice
  6. Resonance
  7. Phonological Awareness Skills
  8. Social Skills
  9. Problem Solving Abilities
  10. Executive Function Skills
Once the handouts are returned, the SLP can more effectively decide which testing instruments should be administered.  

If a caregiver or teacher selects a great deal of areas of difficulty, Tatyana has included a Supplemental Data Collection Form.  This will allow caregivers/teachers to track a child's behavior for a specified amount of time.  Ratings are given on a 4-point scale (Always, Often, Sometimes, and Rarely).  Based on this form, the clinician would choose assessments to target the most severely impaired areas.

Pros:

  • The checklist included is a handy way to get parent feedback on a child's speech/language abilities and difficulties.  Additionally, obtaining feedback from a teacher is critical.  I can't tell you how often I assess a child who shows a significant difference in skills across settings!  
  • Using the checklist can help you avoid over-testing a child to the point of frustration.  
  • The supplemental data collection form is great for more significantly impaired children.  Many children who may require the use of this form may not have sufficient attention/persistence for testing tasks.  This can help get a picture of the child's pockets of strengths and weaknesses.

Cons:

  • If you work in a school setting like I do, you may have a limited selection of tests available.  Still, I believe this checklist is a great way of obtaining parent and teacher feedback regardless of whether or not you use the resource for test selection.

You can find out more information on this time-saving resource HERE.  Find out more information about Smart Speech Therapy, LLC by visiting Tatyana's Blog and Facebook page.

What test(s) do you currently use for the preschool population?


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