Exploring the Use of Parent Report in Child Speech and Language Screening
Type of DegreeMaster's Thesis
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Early detection of speech-language disorders in preschool children have been found to improve academic, behavioral, and social outcomes. As the USPSTF reports, there is currently no gold standard measure for assessing children for a developmental delay such as deficits in speech and language (Voight & Accardo, 2015). The aim of this study was to investigate the accuracy of parent screeners such as the Ages and Stages Questionnaire-3 (ASQ-3) and the Intelligibility in Context Scale (ICS) to identify children who are and are not at risk for speech and/or language delays. Thirty children and their participating parents were included in the study. Children were screened as a part of screening activities performed by the Auburn Speech and Hearing Clinic. Parents completed questionnaires to provide information about their child’s communication skills. Children were later assessed to determine group status, with without disorder. Congruence between parent and clinical measures were observed. A strong positive correlation (r= +0.71. p < 0.001) with substantial agreement (k = 0.71. p < 0.001), was found between the parental and clinician categorization of children when the ASQ-3 qualitative questions and the PLS-5 Articulation Screening are compared. It was found that the ASQ-3 qualitative "overall" questions were a statistically significant indicator of children who could be potentially at risk for speech/language delay, rather than the standardized scored section. It was concluded that parents who voice concern when asked such qualitative questions, may possibly be aware of a risk factor, leading to more thorough routine surveillance of the concern over time. Although there are arguments that can be made in support that this is already standard practice, evidence suggests that it is not consistent enough and that many children slip through the cracks which can lead to a number of negative long-term outcomes (Nelson et al., 2006; Sui, 2015; Stott et al., 2002; Voight & Accardo, 2015).