Are you concerned about a child's speech in your early years setting? Are you wondering if they have all the sounds they should for their age?
Not sure how to broach it with parents? Or maybe a parent has told you they are worried about their child's speech…how do you reassure them?
Perhaps they are going to school after this summer and you're not sure where they should be with their sounds? Or have they already started school and are having difficulty getting to grips with their phonics because of their speech sound errors? How do you know if they should see a speech and language therapist?
Created in the UK by a Speech and Language Therapist (and mother of two children) currently working in the NHS, the Wise Old Owl Speech Assessment has been developed especially to answer all of those questions.
We know the difficulties you are facing: waiting lists are increasing, so there's becoming a tendency to refer 'just in case.' There's a couple of problems with this…
First, you're setting up an expectation in parents that their child needs 'fixing' and that once they are seen by a speech and language therapist that they will get 'speech therapy.' This might not be the case, as they might be exactly where they should be for their age.
Second, the waiting list is getting filled unnecessarily, therefore clogging up the system and stopping us from seeing the children who really do need it at the time they need it.
This version of the Wise Old Owl Speech Assessment has been designed especially to help those working with children make decisions as to when is the best time to refer. It does not replace the skilled clinical judgement of a professionally qualified Speech and Language Therapist and if you have any concerns, you should always pick up the 'phone and ask your local Speech and Language Therapy Department for advice.
However, this is an easy speech sound screen which instantly analyses the data and recommends whether further assessment is needed by a speech and language therapist. It also provides both a colourful visual overview to share with parents.
Wise Old Owl Speech Assessment is an articulation and phonology test of English speaking students. It is developed as an informal assessment and was created to guide early years practitioners as to whether a child's speech sound system is within the norms expected for his or her age.
There are two basic tests, the 'Quick Screener' and the 'Full Test'. The Screener is for quickly screening a student's articulation skills looking at a few targeted common sounds, while the Full Test provides examples of all sounds in all word positions (including vowels). Covered in the cost of the app is unlimited support from a speech and language therapist regarding all your speech assessments. If you need help interpreting the results or would like online support in how to encourage their speech sound development.
It is probably best suited for children between the ages of 3 and 8 years old.
We welcome all feedback as we are happy to update and improve the design of this assessment.
If you've enjoyed using the app, please take a moment to share your experience with others by reviewing the app in the App Store. Thank you!
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-The Wise Old Owl SLT Team.
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