Denise is a 4th-grade student with a bilateral moderately-severe sensorineural hearing loss. She uses binaural hearing aids but is refusing to use her personal Hearing Assistive Technology (HAT) system. Denise has Down syndrome and is enrolled in a full-time Life Skills Support classroom. As part of providing itinerant auditory/speech/language services to Denise, it is important to conduct formal and informal assessments to determine progress in the area of auditory, speech, and language skills. It is important to evaluate her auditory skills, speech production skills, and receptive & expressive language skills. Some of the assessment instruments that would help in her case include the Preschool Language Scale-4 (PLS-4), Infant-Toddler Meaningful Auditory Integration Scale (IT-MAIS), and Preschool-Clinical Evaluation of Language Fundamentals (CELF-P) (Cupples et al., 2018). Parent interview will be used as an informal assessment instrument to determine Denise’s auditory, speech production, and receptive & expressive language skills.
While the assessments are essential, there are some potential challenges that may occur during the process. Some of these challenges include fluency in Denise’s mode of communication or language, probable unresponsiveness, difficulties in understanding the interaction between her hearing loss and development, and adaptation of test instruments. To address these challenges and make the assessment sessions more productive, well-established standardized and norm-referenced tests will be used (Rose et al., 2008). Secondly, the sessions will be planned based on her age, degree of hearing loss, language history, the primary mode of communication, etiology, and age/history of amplification. The assessment sessions will also include playful activities and tools like toys and objects that help keep Denise engaged. In addition, an informal conversational tone will be maintained as an adult that Denise is familiar with is incorporated. The results of the assessments will be documented in different ways including videotaping her interactions and utterances and writing a report, which will then be submitted to parents/teachers. Assessment results will be used to introduce new audiological interventions and speech production activities as part of the modification of Denise’s program.
Cupples et al. (2018, May). Language and Speech Outcomes of Children with Hearing Loss and Additional Disabilities: Identifying the Variables that Influence Performance at 5 Years of Age. International Journal of Audiology, 57(SUP2), S93-S104.
Rose et al. (2008). Resources for Assessment of Students who are Deaf and Hard of Hearing. Retrieved from College of Education and Human Development – University of Minnesota website: https://www.cehd.umn.edu/dhh-resources/assessment/AssessmentManual.pdf
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