Tests A Significant Difference? Second Opinion
Second Opinion  |   January 01, 1993
Tests
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Tom C. Ehren, MS
    Curriculum Supervisor for Speech, Language, and Physically Impaired Programs, Exceptional Student Education, The School Board of Broward County Florida, 600 SE 3rd Avenue, Ft. Lauderdale, FL 33301
Article Information
Speech, Voice & Prosodic Disorders / Special Populations / Early Identification & Intervention / School-Based Settings / Professional Issues & Training / Regulatory, Legislative & Advocacy / Language Disorders / Attention, Memory & Executive Functions / Second Opinions
Second Opinion   |   January 01, 1993
Tests
American Journal of Speech-Language Pathology, January 1993, Vol. 2, 17-19. doi:10.1044/1058-0360.0201.17
 
American Journal of Speech-Language Pathology, January 1993, Vol. 2, 17-19. doi:10.1044/1058-0360.0201.17
Beginning in the 1940s and continuing for more than 20 years, the definition of speech (and language) disorder that prevailed in the profession was not based on empirically developed standards, carefully controlled developmental studies, or legislative mandate. As late as 1963, Charles Van Riper defined speech as “defective when it deviates so far from the speech of other people that it calls attention to itself, interferes with communication, or causes its possessor to be maladjusted” (Van Riper, 1963). This criterion was a reflection of the theoretical construct of the time that speech was a tool for thought and communication. Therefore, a speaker who could not convey a message to a listener, and subsequently experienced failed communication attempts, would be considered disordered. Early protocols for examining children suspected to be speech-or language-delayed relied heavily on observational information collected by the speech-language pathologist (née correctionist) while children played with each other or their parents. Anecdotal information from parents on speech development was combined with probes of the child’s abilities in many areas. These included the ability to imitate sounds and words, comprehend simple directions, label common objects, or be stimulated by certain teaching techniques presented by the speech-language pathologist. In addition, the effect of speech and language disorders on a child’s emotional adjustment was examined. Van Riper coined the acronym PFAGH to illustrate what he felt were significant covert behaviors related to determining the existence of a disorder. Children’s reactions to the penalties of rejection and their own perceptions of fear, anxiety, and guilt were often interpreted through drawings and observations. Hostility was often viewed as their response to frustration. Of course, the outcomes of most examinations were as much concerned with the “causes” of a disorder as they were with the type of problem. The concept of discrete skills as the possible building blocks for effective communication was just beginning to evolve. Considering that few standards existed, or were even used, decisions about who should be served were based on each clinician’s own unique blend of training and experience.
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