To screen or not to screen…that is often the question that SLP’s face in the school setting. Articulation and language screener tools can be very helpful in managing your caseload! I know some SLP’s have to screen all kindergarten students, so these tools can really help you get that done in a timely manner.
Today, I wanted to link up with Twin Speech Language, & Literacy about how I use my newest resource….my articulation and language flip book screeners!
Many moons ago, I screened all 5 of my kindergarten classrooms, which took a WHOLE day! I spent all that time screening 100 kindergarteners to determine that I had 2-3 possible students to assess. The majority of the students I screened were bilingual with kindergarten being their first exposure to English. After that experience, I decided to utilize my time a little differently with screenings. Currently, I like to spend my time educating staff on the qualifications for special education and the developmental milestones for sounds and language skills based on age/grade. In California, there are many different cultures and languages spoken, so I share a lot of information about English as Second Language development.
By spending that time communicating with staff about speech and language development, it helped reduce the number of referrals I get. I also like to utilize the Student Study Team (SST) process to help gather more information about a student and make sure the student is receiving general education interventions before moving towards a speech and language referral. My current district does allow me to informally screen, so I made an articulation and language screener flip book to use this year!
Typically, I use it with students where the SST team, parent and/or teacher have noticed some red flags with communication or language. Often times, I will have the teacher fill out a referral form before determining if a screening is necessary. I use referral forms from Sublime Speech (FREE) and they are very thorough!
If the teacher indicates multiple sound errors or many different areas of weakness in language, then I usually will ask the teacher to speak with the parent about me informally screening them. I have parents fill out a consent form and then I screen the child. My interactive articulation and language screener flip books are not normed and are designed to be a tool to gather informal assessment data. If there are language concerns, I typically follow the SST intervention guidelines and give recommendations for general education interventions before moving forward with further assessment. In California, based on educational law, schools have to show interventions implemented in the least restrictive environment before moving forward with looking at special education services.
Each screener comes with parent consent forms, and 2 recording forms that go with the flip books (photocopy front and back). There is an area to mark recommendations after you finish the screener.
My articulation screener helps me to determine if the sound errors are developmental and to see if there are multiple errors or just 1-2 errors. This helps me to determine if the student’s speech development can be met in the classroom, in an RTI 6 week intervention or if further assessment is warranted. I also used this tool with a couple of new TK and kindergarten students to get a quick baseline on where they were with meeting their goals for the year.
I really love my language screener because the information from the screener can help the SST team and teacher determine which language areas need to be addressed in the classroom. We can see how the child progresses as the teacher implements strategies throughout the day. If you laminate the pages, you can have the students use dry erase markers with some of the items, such as “circle the plate with more cookies”. The screener took me about 10 minutes to administer and it saves me time by having some solid information to share with parents and teachers without having to conduct a full assessment that can take me upwards of 4 plus hours to complete. How do you handle screenings in your school district?