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Assessment of Adolescents with Language and Literacy Impairments in Speech Language Pathology  

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—The prevalence and incidence of language disorders in adolescents continues to be difficult to estimate due to which some authors have referred to them as a neglected group with significant problems having an “invisible disability”. Undetected language deficits tend to worsen with age and adversely impact academic functioning and vocational options of affected adolescents. This 130-slide pdf download discusses how to effectively select assessment materials in order to conduct comprehensive evaluations of adolescents with suspected language and literacy disorders. It contains embedded links to ALL the books and research articles used in the development of this product (access to articles is not included and is dependent on the journal subscriber privledges of individual users).

Learning Objectives:

—By the end of this presentation learners will be able to:

  1. Discuss developmental milestones pertinent to adolescent development in the areas of semantics, syntax, pragmatics, executive functions, and literacy
  2. Identify the most sensitive general language assessment instruments for adolescents 12-18 (+) years of age
  3. Identify formal specialized language and literacy assessments instruments for adolescents 12-18 (+) years of age
  4. Describe informal language and literacy assessment procedures to supplement formal testing

Slide Content:

  • Hierarchy of Language Development
  • Identification of Adolescents with Language Impairments
  • Prevalence and Incidence of Language Disorders in Adolescents
  • Areas of Visible Deficits
  • General Language Development during Adolescence from Comprehension to Writing Development (2 slides)
  • Expansion of Word Definition Development
  • Adolescent Milestones
    • Lexicon
    • Figurative Language
    • —Syntax
    • Discourse and Pragmatics
    • —Literacy
    • Executive Functions
  • Warning Signs of Language Impairments in Adolescents (2 slides)
  • The Problem of Underidentification
  • Areas to Assess
  • Suggestions for Initiation of Assessment
  • Suggestions for Assessment Checklist For Adolescents 12-18 Years Of Age
    • Sample Assessment Areas
  • Select Standardized Tests Useful for Adolescents (22 slides)
  • Informal Assessment: Discourse, Narratives, and Social Communication
  • Types of Language Sampling (“Gold Standard”)
    • Conversational
    • Fictional
    • Expository
    • Persuasive
  • Benefits of Language Sampling
    • Conversational Sampling Task
      • Productivity Measures
    • Expository Sampling Task
      • Productivity Measures
      • Peer Conflict Resolution (PCR)
        • 2 Tasks, 5 slides
      • Microstructural Analysis (4 slides)
      • Word-Finding (2 slides)
      • 2 Case Studies with Transcripts and Analyses (8 slides)
    • The Importance of Narrative Retelling Assessment
      • Adolescent Narrative Stages (2 slides)
      • Components of Linguistically Sophisticated Narratives
        • Adolescent Use of Abstract Vocabulary (3 slides)
        • 2 Case Studies with Transcripts and Analyses (5 slides)
  • Informal Social Communication Assessment (7 slides includes one case study)
  • Informal Literacy Assessment
  • Adolescent Language Impairment and Reading Proficiency
    • Importance of Phonological Awareness Abilities for Adolescents*
    • Phonological Awareness Assessment Caveat
    • Informal Phonological Assessment Screening Recommendations
      • Utility of Nonword Repetition Tasks
    • Informal Reading Fluency Assessment
      • Average Reading Fluency Rates 6-8 grade
      • Reading Fluency and Students With Reading Disabilities
      • Reading Fluency Case Study with Analysis (2 slides)
    • Informal Reading Comprehension Assessment
      • Reading Comprehension Case Study with Analysis (3 slides)
    • Prescriptive Spelling Assessment (2 slides)
      • Informal Spelling Screening
        • Nonsense Word Spelling
        • Grade Level Spelling Screening (with embedded word lists for grades 7-12)
    • Utility of Informal Writing Assessments
    • Types of Writing Assessments
      • Narrative
      • Expository
      • Persuasive
        • Narrative Writing Task (3 slides with instructions, prompts and productivity measures)
        • Expository Writing Task (3 slides with instructions, prompts and productivity measures)
        • Persuasive Writing Task (4 slides with instructions, prompts and productivity measures)
      • Recommendations for Feature Analysis in General Writing Assessments
      •  Persuasive Writing Task Case Study with Analysis (4 slides including written sample and transcript)
  • Conclusion
  • Select Smart Speech Therapy Resources