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Saturday, September 4, 2010

Back to School-Mastery Guidelines-Part 5

Youʼll be glad to know this morningʼs topic has nothing to do with oral exams! Today I want to refresh you on mastery guidelines for speech acquisition. Once again this is geared more for the “dinosuar SLP” who is still working.

If you work in public schools, then you have state and federal guidelines you must follow. You cannot always do that which you professionally know to be developmentally appropriate for the child. A major frustration for all of us, but one each of us deals with in every state. You cannot place a child in Speech Therapy unless they meet your stateʼs stringent guidelines. In my workplace, I noticed that we, SLPs, were interpreting the articulation data differently in making decisions regarding whether the child qualified or not. The difference was due to our interpretation of age of acquisition for speech sounds. Having graduated from college a hundred years ago, I was still relying on my antiquated knowledge of sound acquisition to make my placement decisions and did not realize things have changed! So for you older SLPs, Iʼd like to bring you up to the 21st century!

The following information is from the research of Linda Mawhinney and Mary Scott McTeague,
Mastery Guidelines-2004.
2 Years of age- 90% of children have mastered: /p,d,m,w,h,n/
3 Years of age- 90% of children have mastered: /t,b,k,g/
4-5 Years of age- 90% of children have mastered: /f,v,y/ (typically at 4)
5-7 Years of age- 90% of children have mastered: /s,z,j,l,r,sh,ch,th/, blends (typically at 6)

WOW! My previous knowledge had no mastery of any sound until age 3 and all the sounds as developing later, so you can see how this would make a huge difference in my decisions on placement. So if youʼre out there, old as me, and are unaware of these changes please TAKE NOTE things have changed!

TIPS: When to be concerned....(Dr. Lonnie Harris)
1.When family and friends have a hard time understanding the child.
2.When the child exhibits frustration when you do not understand their speech.
3.When you, the SLP, do not understand the childʼs speech even if there is no frustration.
4.1st Grade Rule- a 1st grade child should sound adult-like.

Hopes this helps you. Unfortunately, if youʼre like I was, it will increase your caseload, but I was a better Speech Therapist for it.

Next Monday Iʼll be talking about some of the new scheduling software that is now on the market. Enjoy your time with your kids this week!

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