Best practices in using norms to determine who qualifies for speech treatment in schools
What is it about?
This article revisits “classic” speech sound norms to examine how the data were collected and how the data were intended to be used to inform which children qualify for speech treatment in schools. This review shows that normal development can not be reduced to a single age cut-off to determine eligibility for speech treatment. The range and variability of normal development needs to be considered when making clinical decisions. Moreover, it is not appropriate to use only a single measure of speech sound development. Developmental norms need to be combined with other measures to obtain a rich understanding of a child’s strengths and weaknesses in speech sound production. State and local guidelines may not be aligned with these best practice guidelines. SLPs may need to advocate for change in state and local guidelines.
Why is it important?
There is controversy surrounding the role of developmental norms in determining who qualifies for speech sound treatment in schools. Revisiting the original normative studies and thinking about what normative data tell us and don’t tell us helps us understand how to effectively use developmental norms in clinical decision making.
The following have contributed to this page: Professor Holly Storkel
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