Directory of Speech-Language Pathology Assessment Instruments Introduction

The American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA) is pleased to present the Directory of Speech-Language Pathology Assessment Instruments. The purpose of this directory is to provide speech-language pathologists with a comprehensive reference of assessment tools used to evaluate the speech, language, cognitive-communication, and swallowing abilities of individuals across the life span.

Speech-language assessment is a complex process. Assessing, describing, and interpreting an individual's communication ability requires the integration of a variety of information gathered in the evaluation process. ASHA's Preferred Practice Patterns for the Professions of Speech-Language Pathology (2004) indicates that comprehensive speech-language pathology assessment includes these components:

  • Case history, including medical status, education, vocation, socioeconomic, cultural, and linguistic backgrounds
  • Patient/client and family interview
  • Review of auditory, visual, motor, and cognitive status
  • Standardized and/or nonstandardized measures of specific aspects of speech, spoken and nonspoken language, cognitive-communication, and swallowing function
  • Identification of potential for effective intervention strategies and compensations
  • Selection of standardized measures for speech, language, cognitivecommunication, and/or swallowing assessment with consideration for documented ecological validity
  • Follow-up services to monitor communication and swallowing status and ensure appropriate intervention and support for individuals with identified speech, language, cognitive-communication, and/or swallowing disorders

Results of standardized tests provide the speech-language pathologist with valuable information regarding the communication abilities in specific areas. However, ASHA recognizes that standardized tests are only one component of a comprehensive assessment process. Nonstandardized or informal assessment procedures, including behavioral and pragmatic observations in natural contexts and spontaneous and structured language sampling, provide valuable information that standardized tests alone may not.

Sampling communication in a variety of situations gives speech-language pathologists a more accurate profile of an individual's functional communication ability.

The Directory of Speech-Language Pathology Assessment Instruments was developed in response to frequent requests from ASHA members for information on assessments related to speech-language pathology. Assessment instruments are categorized according to areas of practice in speech-language pathology. Instruments that assess the impairment level and the activity/participation limitation level are included where possible. Screening instruments are included with other tests in each category (e.g., articulation screening with articulation/phonology assessment).

Tests are included in the following areas:

  • Articulation/Phonology Assessment
  • Autism Spectrum Disorders Assessment
  • Cognitive-Communication Assessment
  • Developmental Scales
  • Evaluation Tools for Culturally and Linguistically Diverse Populations
  • Fluency Assessment
  • Related Tests (of abilities that are related to communication)
  • Spoken Language Assessment
  • Swallowing and Oral-Motor Assessment
  • Test Batteries
  • Voice Assessment
  • Written Language Assessment

The following information is provided for each assessment instrument:

  • Title
  • Author (if no author is noted, the publisher indicated that many researchers contributed to the test)
  • Publisher
  • Year (most recent revision)
  • Age range (in years unless specified by months or by school grade)
  • Administration time in minutes unless otherwise specified (e.g., 1–2 hours)
  • Language(s)
  • Availability of computerized scoring
  • A brief description (descriptions for each assessment are adapted from the publishers' own information sources)

Before selecting any test, be sure to review the publisher's evidence of its validity (the extent to which the test measures the behaviors it is intended to measure) and reliability (consistency from one use to the next). You might also want to search for any related research articles in the ASHA journals, using appropriate keywords such as motor speech disorders and assessment or just the name of the test. Consider expanding your search via Google or PubMed; also, a resource that offers test reviews for a fee is the Buros Institute of Mental Measurements, which includes online reviews of tests in categories.

Cultural competence is imperative when selecting and using assessment tools. Standardized measures may not be appropriate to the all racial and ethnic populations. Certified service providers must validate that the assessment is being administered to the population for whom is was standardized. There may be inherent cultural and linguistic biases. Assessments that are administered to populations who have not been included in the normative sampling process fail to meet standards. Therefore, they may only be used as information probes with no accompanying standard scores. Alterations to the typical assessment process should be noted in the written report.

In order to keep the directory current, we are requesting publishers use the Test Submission Form to submit to ASHA the names and descriptions of new/revised tests. Tests with significant research and clinical applications in speech, language, voice, and swallowing are generally appropriate submissions. ASHA will consider test submissions for periodic updates to the directory.

The remainder of this introduction includes an alphabetized list of the titles of all test materials, a list of the titles of all tests within each category, language-specific lists of tests available in languages other than English, and an alphabetized listing of publishers with addresses, telephone numbers, and Web site addresses. ASHA has attempted to provide a comprehensive list of current speech-language assessment instruments. However, new tests are developed frequently. If an assessment instrument is not included, please contact the National Office's Speech-Language Pathology: Clinical Issues Team at (301-897-5700, ext. 4228). ASHA will post updates of this directory on the ASHA Web site periodically and will include additional testing materials as they become available.

We hope this resource will be a helpful reference in providing information on a variety of assessment instruments in speech-language pathology.

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