Monday, February 10, 2014

Tracking Auditory and Self-Advocacy Development

The school year is about half over and assessment and progress monitoring are on everyone’s mind. A colleague and I were just recently in San Diego leading a training that included assessment, school teams are beginning to discuss upcoming spring IEP meetings, and progress reports and report cards are on the horizon. Recently, the itinerant teachers at Clarke’s east coast campuses were able to meet via Skype and the topic of discussion? Assessment. While formal assessments occur every three years for students on IEPs, ongoing monitoring and less formal assessments are necessary in order to track progress, look for gaps in knowledge and ensure that we continue to move our students forward. There are many charts and tools, but below are a few of my favorites for tracking auditory and self-advocacy skills. I hope you find them useful as well!

Functional Auditory Performance Indicators(FAPI)
The FAPI is an observation tool designed for use with young children and new listeners. A variety of listening conditions are assessed in the areas of sound awareness through linguistic auditory processing. I complete the FAPI with input from the entire team for several reasons. Completing the FAPI together draws the teacher’s attention to the variety of listening situations that I am observing regularly, which helps the teacher think critically about the development of auditory skills. There are always going to be aspects of the school day that I do not see, so input from the teacher helps provide a complete picture.  It is also a nice way to look at where the student is and where we want him or her to go, opening up conversations regarding inclusion of auditory skill development in the classroom.

Functional Listening Evaluation / Nonsense Sentences
Functional Listening Evaluations show how students with hearing loss perform under a variety of listening conditions. The link above from Hands & Voices summarizes the objectives, materials and procedures. Specific training is required in order to perform and report on Functional Listening Evaluations correctly. Your local audiologist may be able to guide you in getting trained. While Functional Listening Evaluations can be helpful in determining the potential benefit from consistent use of FM systems, hearing aids, and cochlear implants in the classroom, the evaluations require extensive training, practice, and consistent collaboration with an audiologist. When a full listening evaluation is not able to happen, the Nonsense Sentences can be used independently to help create self-awareness. An excerpt from a Nonsense Sentences write up may look something like this:

Cottage Acquisition Scales for Listening Language and Speech  (CASLLS)
The CASLLS are my favorite way of analyzing expressive language! Tracking language development from Pre-Verbal through Complex Sentences, the CASLLS can be used with students at a variety of language levels, and progress can be documented easily over time. I find it challenging to record language samples in writing, so I give my student materials, ask the student to tell me a story and then video tape while the student narrates. I’m then able to transcribe the language sample and complete the appropriate level CASLLS.

Karen Anderson
I’ve mentioned Karen Anderson’s book in a previous post, but this is the go-to source in our office for quick auditory and social scales.

Listening Inventory for Education- Revised (LIFE-R)
The LIFE-R is an inventory completed by the student with hearing loss. I use the LIFE-R to open discussions with my student around difficult listening situations and also share with classroom teachers during consult time. For students who are not able to read the questions, I read them aloud as well as the choices.

Placement and Readiness Checklist (PARC)
PARC is a checklist that can be used during conversations regarding the most appropriate placement for students with hearing loss when full-time mainstream placement is in question. It looks at a variety of classroom skills and situations and can support difficult placement discussions.

Minnesota Social Skills Checklist 
The Minnesota Social Skills Checklist can be used with students with hearing loss in preschool through high school and it looks at areas such as self-concept, friendship, and pragmatics. This is another tool that can be used over time to highlight areas of need as well as show progress.

A related tool is the Minnesota Compensatory Skills Checklist which assesses the students understanding of his hearing needs as well as advocacy and management of amplification.

Teacher (or Parents) Evaluation of Aural / Oral Performance of Children


The TEACH and PEACH are tools developed in Australia that I like to use with preschool children and early listeners. Teachers complete the TEACH and parents complete the PEACH. As with other scales, I like to work with the team when completing the TEACH and PEACH so that we can have conversations regarding our observations and goals for the student. One of my favorite aspects is that they are narrative which allows for open responses, there are no multiple choice questions so they can seem less judgmental.

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