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In case you missed it: The importance of targeted assessments for school aged children

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Last week I did a guest post for The Simply Speech Blog. In case you missed it,  below I offer an explanation why targeted speech language assessments are so important, as well as list helpful resources that will aid you in speech language assessment preparation.

In both my hospital based job and in private practice I do a lot of testing. During staff/caregiver interviews I used to get a laundry list of both specific and non-specific problems by the parents and teachers, which did not always accurately reflect the students true deficits.  Experience quickly taught me that administering general comprehensive language testing to every student simply did not work. Oftentimes the administration of such testing revealed one of two things:

  • Child’s performance was within normal limits on a general language test but the child still presented with significant deficits in other language areas (e.g., problem solving, social pragmatic language, word-finding, etc)
  • Child scored so low on a general comprehensive language test (e.g., CELF-4) that it was very difficult to decide which goals should be targeted in therapy first. Had a test of decreased complexity been administered first, several language strengths could have been identified, based on which therapy goals could have been structured and build upon.

As a result I decided to create a checklist: “Speech language Assessment for a School Aged Child”  to assist myself as well as other speech language pathologists in the decision making process of how to select assessment instruments and prioritize assessment for school age children. My aim was to eliminate administration of unnecessary or irrelevant tests and focus on the administration of instruments directly targeting the areas of difficulty that the child presents with.

Checklist Contents:

  • Page 1 Title
  • Page 2 Directions
  • Pages 3-6 Checklist
  • Pages 7-8 Suggested Speech-Language Test Selection for School-Aged Children
  • Page 9  Select Language Testing Battery Suggestions
  • Page 10-12 Supplemental Caregiver/Teacher Data Collection Form

Checklist Target Areas:

  1. Receptive Language  
  2. Memory, Attention and Sequencing 
  3. Expressive Language  
  4. Vocabulary 
  5. Narrative  
  6. Speech  
  7. Voice
  8. Resonance
  9. Phonological Awareness
  10. Problem Solving 
  11. Pragmatic Language 
  12. Social Emotional Development 
  13. Executive Functions 


Here are just a few advantages of using the checklist:

  • Project efficient and professional image via detailed preparatory process   
  • Save time by sending the checklist to the caregiver/teacher instead of conducting lengthy interviews
  • Quickly determine the child’s most significant deficits areas 
  • Base test selection on accurate staff/caregiver report vs guesswork
  • Assess only the RELEVANT areas of difficulty via administration of targeted tests or select test subtests
  • Quickly access list of speech-language tests categorized by area of focus in one place
  • Review testing battery suggestions if uncertain regarding specific test administration
  • Quickly tally the results of supplemental caregiver/teacher data collection form for students with severe language deficits in order to pinpoint the starting assessment point

Below are just a few product slides and if you are interested in purchasing it, you can find it in my online store HERE.



If you are an SLP who works with preschool children click HERE to check out my ” Speech Language Assessment Checklist for Preschool Children 3:0-5:11 Years of Age“.


1 thought on “In case you missed it: The importance of targeted assessments for school aged children

  1. This is so helpful! I can’t wait to purchase the checklist. It’s so easy to give all the students the same assessments, but you’re right that the information isn’t helpful for figuring out which goals to write.

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