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Speech - Language Evaluations

Formal assessments are conducted by Speech-Language Pathologist’s using norm-referenced tests to evaluate if a child/adult has a speech or language disorder. Standardized tests allow SLP's to see where your child's speech and language skills are compared to others Test results indicate how an individual performs in comparison to others at their same age/grade level.

Some ways SLP's can assess speech and language skills:

  • Criterion referenced tests fall under “formal assessments.” These tests measure what an individual can do based on his/her past performance. These tests are often used to see how much progress or decline an individual has made.

  • Informal assessments can be done in several ways. The first way is observation. This is when a Speech-Language Pathologist observes an individual in different environments. A “natural” setting is highly recommended, meaning that an individual is observed best when they are at home or a “natural” setting that they are familiar with. However, observations can also take place in schools and hospital settings. The Speech-Language Pathologist looks at interactions, play skills and motor abilities.

  • Check-lists and Rating scales are another way to informally assess an individual. Both of these informal assessments allow the clinician to see areas of weakness and strength in a quicker and easier fashion.

Below are just some of the Formal assessments for children used by Speech-Language Pathologists:

  • CELF-5: Clinical Evaluation of Language Fundamentals- fourth edition. The CELF (prounounced “self”) assesses student’s language performances with subtests including; concepts and following directions, recalling sentences, word structure, expressive vocabulary, word classes, pragmatic skills and more. This test is used for ages 5-21.

  • CTOPP: Comprehensive Test of Phonological Processing. This tests for ph0nological awareness, memory and rapid naming responses. Used for ages 5-24:11

  • EOWPVT: Expressive One Word Picture Vocabulary Test. This test requires a child to name objects and actions presented in illustrations. This test is used for ages 2-80+.

  • GFTA-2: Goldman Fristoe Test of Articulation, second edition. This test allows an SLP to see articulation abilities and errors. This test is used for ages 2-21:11.

  • OWLS: Oral and Written Language Scales. There are three scales in this test. The listening comprehensive scale (LC) is used to assess receptive language. The Oral Expression Scale (OES) is used to see how a child answers questions. The last scale is for Written Language (WES) that assesses a child’s writing skills. Used with ages 3:0-21:00

  • PLS-5: Preschool Language Scales- fifth edition (recently upgraded to 5, was PLS-4). Tests auditory comprehension and expressive communication. Used for ages birth-7:11.

  • ROWPVT: Receptive One Word Picture Vocabulary Test. In this test, a child is orally read a word, and they must point to one out of four illustrations presented. This test is used for individuals aged 2-80+.

  • TOLD-4: Test of Language Development, fourth edition. There are two tests that can be given based on age. -(Primary) Used for ages 4.0-8.11. It has 9 subtests that include; picture vocabulary, relational vocabulary, oral vocabulary, syntactic understanding, sentence imitation, morphological completion, word discrimination, word analysis and word articulation.

  • -(Intermediate) Used for ages 8:0-17:11. Subtests include sentence combining, picture vocabulary, word ordering, relational vocabulary, morphological comprehension and multiple meanings

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