Sample Articulation Assessment
Sample Articulation Assessment
John Smith, age 6, is a first grade student at Kerry Elementary in San Diego. English is his primary language and the
language of instruction. Mrs. Smith, John’s mother, referred him for a speech evaluation. Her presenting concerns
were speech intelligibility, how he views himself as a communicator, and spelling development. No language or
other academic concerns were noted.
This is John’s initial evaluation for special education services. He has no prior history of speech and language
intervention. His medical history is unremarkable. Mother reports an occasional ear infection. The results of a
hearing screening (9/04) were normal. There is no family history of speech and language problems or learning
California Code of Regulations establishes eligibility criteria for special education services in the area of articulation
development. The speech behaviors must significantly interfere with communication, attract adverse attention, and
adversely affect educational performance.
The school SLP described John’s speech production using performance assessment
technologies: interview, observation, ratings scales, checklists, behavioral sampling, and
standardized testing. The SLP performed the following evaluative tasks:
• Reviewed school and medical records.
• Interviewed the parents, teacher and John.
• Observed John in the classroom during shared and guided reading, partner talk and free play, and on the
playground during recess.
• Analyzed the results of parent and teacher questionnaires.
• Completed the Articulation Eligibility Profile.
• Measured speech intelligibility using the Intelligibility Rating Scale.
• Collected and analyzed a structured speech sample using Pancakes for Breakfast, by de Paola, 1978.
• Reviewed spelling work samples with the teacher.
• Administered a standardized articulation test, Goldman-Fristoe Test of Articulation-2 (GFTA-2).
• Conducted a brief oral-peripheral examination.
John’s teacher, Mrs. Jones, and Mr. And Mrs. Smith reported mispronunciation of the /s/ sound. Mrs. Smith
described it as slurred. Mrs. Jones noted he substituted [th] for /s/. Results of observation, analysis of the language
sample, and standardized testing confirm the presence of a mild speech variance. John distorts /s/ and /z/. The
production is frontalized and occurs in all word positions. He is stimulable for correct production in the initial
position at the syllable and word levels. Using the Articulation Eligibility Profile—Male guidelines, John is not
expected to correctly produce the sounds until age 7. Results of the GFTA-2 follow:
• [th, th] for the target sounds /s, z / in the initial/medial/final position of word.
• Standard Score of 82 and a Percentile Rank of 6. These scores fell below the average range.
The oral peripheral exam showed no structural differences. A functional tongue thrust appeared to co-occur.
Currently, there is no research that a tongue thrust contributes to an articulation disorder
Speech is completely intelligible in all speaking situations. While the distortion is consistent, it does not affect
intelligibility. John scored in the mild range on the Intelligibility Rating Scale and on the Severity Rating Scale.
There was no evidence during the observation or from the parent and teacher questionnaires that the speech
difference attracted adverse attention. John is an active participant in all oral language activities. According to his
parents and teacher, he enjoys good relationships with his peers. During the student interview, the SLP asked John
about making the /s/ sound. He appeared unconcerned about the speech difference but said he knew about it because
“my mom told me. She tries to help me make it right.”
Mrs. Jones stated that John performs at grade level in all language arts areas and meets all grade level standards.
John uses inventive, phonetic spelling, which is appropriate for his developmental level.
John’s sound variance for /s/ and /z/ appears to be a developmental speech difference
that does not affect communicative intelligibility, attract adverse attention, or impact
educational progress. John does not meet eligibility requirements for special education
speech services at this time.
The SLP will give the parents and the teacher suggestions for facilitating acquisition of
standard sound production and discuss possible enrollment in the site’s Speech
Improvement Class at the IEP meeting.
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