Speech-Language Pathologists' Assessment Practices for Children With Suspected Speech Sound Disorders: Results of a National Survey Purpose This study examined assessment procedures used by speech-language pathologists (SLPs) when assessing children suspected of having speech sound disorders (SSD). This national survey also determined the information participants obtained from clients' speech samples, evaluation of non-native English speakers, and time spent on assessment. Method One thousand surveys ... Research Article
Research Article  |   August 01, 2007
Speech-Language Pathologists' Assessment Practices for Children With Suspected Speech Sound Disorders: Results of a National Survey
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Sarah M. Skahan
    University of Wisconsin–Stevens Point
  • Maggie Watson
    University of Wisconsin–Stevens Point
  • Gregory L. Lof
    MGH Institute of Health Professions, Boston
  • Contact author: Maggie Watson, University of Wisconsin–Stevens Point, 1901 4th Avenue, Stevens Point, WI 54481. E-mail: maggie.watson@uwsp.edu.
Article Information
Speech, Voice & Prosodic Disorders / School-Based Settings / Speech, Voice & Prosody / Research Articles
Research Article   |   August 01, 2007
Speech-Language Pathologists' Assessment Practices for Children With Suspected Speech Sound Disorders: Results of a National Survey
American Journal of Speech-Language Pathology, August 2007, Vol. 16, 246-259. doi:10.1044/1058-0360(2007/029)
History: Received June 12, 2006 , Accepted February 28, 2007
 
American Journal of Speech-Language Pathology, August 2007, Vol. 16, 246-259. doi:10.1044/1058-0360(2007/029)
History: Received June 12, 2006; Accepted February 28, 2007
Web of Science® Times Cited: 34

Purpose This study examined assessment procedures used by speech-language pathologists (SLPs) when assessing children suspected of having speech sound disorders (SSD). This national survey also determined the information participants obtained from clients' speech samples, evaluation of non-native English speakers, and time spent on assessment.

Method One thousand surveys were mailed to a randomly selected group of SLPs, self-identified as having worked with children with SSD. A total of 333 (33%) surveys were returned.

Results The assessment tasks most frequently used included administering a commercial test, estimating intelligibility, assessing stimulability, and conducting a hearing screening. The amount of time dedicated to assessment activities (e.g., administering formal tests, contacting parents) varied across participants and was significantly related to years of experience but not caseload size. Most participants reported using informal assessment procedures, or English-only standardized tests, when evaluating non-native English speakers.

Conclusions Most participants provided assessments that met federal guidelines to qualify children for special education services; however, additional assessment may be needed to create comprehensive treatment plans for their clients. These results provide a unique perspective on the assessment of children suspected of having SSD and should be helpful to SLPs as they examine their own assessment practices.

Acknowledgments
This study was supported by a grant from the University of Wisconsin–Stevens Point Student Research Fund, College of Professional Studies, and Department of Communicative Disorders.
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