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Assessment Considerations with Hearing Children of Deaf Parents

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  1. Assessment Considerations with Hearing Children of Deaf Parents Jimmy Lee, MS, CCC-SLP Department of Hearing, Speech and Language Sciences Gallaudet University Washington DC

  2. Jimmy Lee, MS, CCC-SLP • • Gallaudet University Hearing and Speech Center • Coordinator of Speech Language Services • Clinical Supervisor • Instructor • Former member of ASHA’s Multicultural Issues Board

  3. Gallaudet University Hearing and Speech Center • The Center is a full service, urban clinic. We serve members of the Gallaudet community and the greater Washington DC area. We are committed to our community. The Gallaudet and surrounding community include a large number of Deaf families with hearing children.

  4. Agenda • ASHA Guidelines - Rationale for Bilingual Language Assessment • Children of Deaf Adults – CODAs/kodas • Assessment Considerations • Assessment Strategies

  5. Guidelines for Assessment • American Speech-Language-Hearing Association. (1985). Clinical Management of Communicatively Handicapped Minority Language Populations [Position Statement]. Available from

  6. Cultural Sensitivity • “Ability to recognize cultural factors which affect the delivery of speech-language pathology and audiology services to minority language-speaking community. “

  7. Cultural Sensitivity - Considerations • Cultural Variables • Child-rearing practices • Ethnicity • Experience • Gender/gender identification • Generational views • Nonverbal behaviors (i.e., eye contact, gestures) • Perceptions and beliefs about age and disability • Race • Religion • Rules of interaction (i.e., turn taking, interruption) • Sexual orientation • Socioeconomic status

  8. Assessment • “Ability to administer and interpret formal and informal assessment procedures to distinguish between communication difference and communication disorders. “

  9. Linguistic Variables • All primary and subsequent oral, written, and manual languages used by the individual and family

  10. Bilingual Language Assessment • In accordance with the ASHA Code of Ethics and the guidelines for evaluating English language learners: • It should be noted that test scores would be invalid for testing a client who is not reflected in the normative group for the test's standardization sample, even if the test were administered as instructed. However, these tests can provide valuable descriptive information about a client's abilities and limitations in the language of the test.   • • For this reason, all scores obtained should be interpreted with extreme caution.  Static testing should be used for future comparative purposes only.  More dynamic assessment will provide invaluable information regarding the client’s progress as an English Language Learner.

  11. Dynamic Assessment • A method of conducting a language assessment which seeks to identify the skills that an individual child possesses as well as their learning potential.  The dynamic assessment procedure emphasizes the learning process and accounts for the amount and nature of examiner investment.  It is highly interactive and process-oriented.  The following chart compares features of a traditional (or static) assessment procedure to the dynamic assessment procedure.  •

  12. Static Assessment Client/Family is passive Examiner observes Identifies Deficits Standardized Dynamic Assessment Client/Family is active Examiner participates Describes modifiability Fluid and Responsive Assessment Variations

  13. Hearing Children of Deaf Parents • CODA vs. koda • CODA – Adult Child of Deaf Parents • koda – Pediatric Child of Deaf Parents • We will consider kodas for today’s discussion • The National Kids of Deaf Adults (KODA) Family Conference •

  14. Assessment Considerations • Identify L1 • Indentify secondary languages • Establish proficiency in L1 if not English • Establish proficiency in English • Determine if a difference or disorder is present

  15. Confounding issues with kodas • Bimodal language learners • SLPs proficiency in ASL • Lack of valid reliable means of assessing ASL • Communication with the Deaf family members • Cultural v. Medical Models • Family’s ability to share information about spoken language development • Perceptions of family of SLPs

  16. Bimodal bilinguals • Phonological Development in ASL • Phonological Development in spoken English • Lack of overlap modally – potential theoretical brain mapping • Hands v. Mouth • Identification of Articulation/Phonological Disorders

  17. Collaboration • Interpreters • Occupational Therapists • ASL Specialists

  18. Case History • Relevant topics • the age of acquisition of L1 and L2 • the perceived development of ASL (siblings, kodas, deaf kids) • the language(s) used at home and at school/work • the amount and integrity of exposure to each language • the language of preference with siblings, peers, parents, etc • the progress made as an English Language Learner if available • the report of academic performance

  19. Language Sample Analysis • Morphology • Syntax • Semantics • Pragmatics • Phonology

  20. Static Language Testing • PLS, CELF P, Birth to Three, Rossetti, CASL • Be aware of modifications • Report Modifications • Assessment through an ASL interpreter • Assessment without an ASL Interpreter • Language Modality in the session • Spoken Language – All clinicians • Sign Language – Designated clinician

  21. Reporting Results/Recommendations • Use Extreme Caution • Work over time for a diagnosis of disorder • Language Stimulation • Speech Therapy v. Language Therapy

  22. Future Directions • How does bimodality impact language learning in kodas? • What errors are characteristic of kodas speech/language and constitute acceptable difference based deficits? • At what age do kodas evidence full mastery of English? • What quantity/quality of spoken language is necessary for kodas to acquire spoken English?

  23. Acknowledgements • I gratefully acknowledge ASHA, the Multicultural Issues Board and the Office of Multicultural Affairs for the extensive knowledge and resources I liberally borrowed and applied in this presentation. • I also wish to thank all of the Deaf families who have sought services for their hearing children at the Gallaudet University Hearing and Speech Center

  24. Contact Information • Jimmy Lee, MS CCC-SLP, G '93Clinical Educator/Coordinator of SLP ServicesGallaudet UniversityDepartment of Hearing, Speech, and Language Sciences800 Florida Avenue, NEWashington, DC   20002202-651-5665202-651-5324 (fax)

  25. Final thought • "The stranger who tells our stories when we cannot speak not only awakens our spirits and hearts but also shows our humanity – which others want to forget– and in doing so, becomes family" • Mende Proverb, Sierra Leone