Thursday, July 17, 2014

Informal Assessment! That’s where it’s at!

More and more often we are being asked to provide informal assessment data to justify services—especially in the area of articulation. There are many deep tests for /R/ going all the way back to the “OLD McDonald” Deep Test. Do any of you remember it? Probably not. <sigh> I’ve been in practice for 30 years and it was old when I started practicing!  No wonder….I just looked up and original publication date was1964, with a revision in 1976!! It was a standardized test for several consonants in the initial and final positions of words. There was a sentence form as well.

At this point, there are several deep tests for R available, but they are all lacking one element. Pictures. Why do we need pictures? How many kids do you have  on your caseload who require remediation of the R sound who also display weak decoding skills? Yes, that is why pictures are needed. Right now, I know of no assessment tool “out there” that contains pictures and is a “deep” test for the R phoneme. I decided to do something to remedy that situation. Here is an informal assessment for the R sound---in ALL positions of words, including blends and in ALL contexts—single words (pictures), sentences, reading and conversational speech.

Procedure: Print out a copy of the test (you don’t need the cover or credits page).  To administer the test, you need a copy of either page four as well as either page five or page six. Page four is the form to enter in all of the scores on one page. Pages five and six are the protocols with a complete inventory of all of the words/pictures and sentences in the test. Fill out the top portion of each protocol with the appropriate information. The remainder of the protocol is where you will enter your student’s scores. As you complete each page, tally the total correct responses and note the percentage on the protocol found on page four.

Present the picture/word stimuli (and/or sentence stimuli) to your student. Have your student name the pictures or say the sentences. 

Record the responses on the examiner's protocol for each.

For continued testing, use the sentence-level stimuli. This is intended for students who can read, however, you may also read the sentence aloud and ask your student to repeat it back. Here is an example of the sentence-level stimuli. This is the examiner’s copy-with the R words underlined. The student’s copy does not have anything underlined.

Next you are ready to check your student’s intelligibility further by using the paragraph material provided. There are two paragraphs and each is loaded with R words. The student’s copy is to be read aloud by the student and contains no marks. The examiner’s copy  has every R word underlined so you will be able to circle the words that are mis-articulated quickly and easily. Tally up the errors and use the quick and easy formula to determine the percentage of R words correctly produced. Enter this on the protocol in the appropriate area.

 Finally, you are ready to determine your student’s overall intelligibility for R in conversational speech. Write down the start time. Record ONLY words that contain the R phoneme. Words produced correctly are entered on the left hand side of the form. Errors are entered on the right hand side. When the conversation ends, note the ending time and the total number of minutes. Tally up the responses and use the formula to calculate the overall percentage of accuracy. Enter this on the original protocol found on page 4. 

Use this information in your report to help justify services for your artic-only students. This is an affordable, easy way to obtain more data.

Here is another link to my Deep Test for Articulation-R with Pictures!

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