By Christine Ristuccia,

The importance of completing a comprehensive screening with students is having a solid understanding of their present ability level.

When it comes down to articulation screening especially, I like to do a single word screening about every three sessions since the work we do in intervention can alter students’ ability and progress.

Conducting a screening and finding the correctly produced word allows me as the therapist to have a keyword so that I can establish placement of the sound with my students. I instruct students to produce the keyword and this allows them to feel and hear themselves producing a correct sound. Without the keyword, I am giving a verbal explanation of how to make the sound which may not be the student’s learning style.

The other day I was working with a group of students on the /r/ sound. I was having one of my students produce his keywords. I asked him how his tongue felt when he produced the correct /r/.  He replied back to me that he could not see the sound in the mirror and the only way he would know if the sound was correct was to feel or hear it.  This came from the mouth of a second grader.

To get started with your articulation screening, Say It Right offers helpful screening tools to help you give your students the best start toward achieving their speech therapy goals.