Assessment of Language Disorders in Children

Assessment of Language Disorders in Children

Assessment of Language Disorders in Children

Assessment of Language Disorders in Children

Synopsis

This book constitutes a clear, comprehensive, up-to-date introduction to the basic principles of psychological and educational assessment that underlie effective clinical decisions about childhood language disorders. Rebecca McCauley describes specific commonly used tools, as well as general approaches ranging from traditional standardized norm-referenced testing to more recent ones, such as dynamic and qualitative assessment. Highlighting special considerations in testing and expected patterns of performance, she reviews the challenges presented by children with a variety of problems--specific language impairment, hearing loss, mental retardation, and autism spectrum disorders. Three extended case examples illustrate her discussion of each of these target groups. Her overarching theme is the crucial role of well-formed questions as fundamental guides to decision making, independent of approach. Each chapter features lists of key concepts and terms, study questions, and recommended readings. Tables throughout offer succinct summaries and aids to memory. Students, their instructors, and speech-language pathologists continuing their professional education will all welcome this invaluable new resource. Distinctive features include: * a comprehensive consideration of both psychometric and descriptive approaches to the characterization of children's language; * a detailed discussion of background issues important in the language assessment of the major groups of children with language impairment; * timely information on assessment of change--a topic frequently not covered in other texts; * extensive guidance on how to evaluate individual norm-referenced measures for adoption; * an extensive appendix listing about 50 measures used to assess language in children; and * a test review guide that can be reproduced for use by readers.

Excerpt

“You can't kill anyone with speech-language pathology.”

I came to speech-language pathology by what was then an unconventional route—a Ph.D. in a nonclinical speciality within behavioral sciences, followed by postdoctoral study, clinical practicum, and a clinical fellowship year. Thus, I was unschooled in the humorous wisdom that is passed along with more standard fare to speech-language pathology doctoral students through the years. I was able to glean only one or two such aphorisms from my contacts with a more conventionally trained and clinically savvy colleague.

“You can't kill anyone with speech-language pathology, ” she said. A balm to the anxieties of a beginning clinician who knows that there is so much she does not know. A bit of humor to help you while you learn. However, the more clients I worked with, the more I was haunted by this aphorism. Certainly, killing was exceedingly rare to nonexistent, but looming large were the specters of unfulfilled hopes and wasted time. The possibility for improving children's lives became ever clearer, but so did the possibility of less desirable outcomes.

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