The Sixth View Assessing Preschoolers' Articulation and Phonology From the Trenches Clinical Forum
Clinical Forum  |   August 01, 2002
The Sixth View
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Linda M. Khan, MS
    International School of Kenday, Nairobi
  • Contact author: Linda M. Khan, MS, International School of Kenya, P.O. Box 14103, 00800 Nairobi, Kenya. E-mail:
Article Information
Speech, Voice & Prosody / Clinical Forum: Phonology
Clinical Forum   |   August 01, 2002
The Sixth View
American Journal of Speech-Language Pathology, August 2002, Vol. 11, 250-254. doi:10.1044/1058-0360(2002/027)
History: Received February 8, 2002 , Accepted April 5, 2002
American Journal of Speech-Language Pathology, August 2002, Vol. 11, 250-254. doi:10.1044/1058-0360(2002/027)
History: Received February 8, 2002; Accepted April 5, 2002
Web of Science® Times Cited: 11

The forum participants have described their procedures for evaluating Bobby's speech. Each has a specific flavor to it. Bleile strives for "balancing thoroughness against efficiency" and is concerned about keeping both Bobby and his parents comfortable during the evaluation. Hodson et al. seem to center their evaluation around "readiness for literacy," which requires a strong phonological system and metaphonological awareness. Hoffman & Norris use no standardized tests, preferring to derive all data from a "naturalistic" interaction with Bobby. Miccio is sensitive to cultural differences and the influence of the "unnatural" clinical setting on such a young child. Her evaluation is also the most thorough in its focus on the phonological system at multiple levels. Tyler & Tolbert emphasize the "multidimensional" nature of the assessment: standardized and nonstandardized evaluation, adjusting to Bobby's personality and preferences.

What is my view of the elephant? Because of time constraints and eligibility requirements, I focus on obtaining the information required for determining eligibility: "Quick and Dirty." For Bobby, this means a standardized articulation/phonology score, oral peripheral screening, and hearing screening. The additional information can be obtained later. Determining initial treatment goals can be accomplished at my desk after school.

This is the sixth view: from the trenches. In attempting to "balance thoroughness against efficiency," efficiency wins. If the referral is for articulation/phonology, then that will be the focus of the evaluation. Caseload size and time constraints determine that establishing eligibility is the highest priority, followed by the development of initial treatment goals. If I haven't completed Bobby's language testing during the evaluation session, at the very least I will have gathered preliminary evidence to suggest the presence or absence of a language impairment. Further evaluation of the communication system may be completed during the first few therapy sessions. As additional information is gathered, IEP goals are revised or augmented as needed. Bobby is on his way to intelligibility.

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