Stuttering and Assessment

I am currently a graduate student studying Speech-Language Pathology. We were recently introduced to the many assessments available to evaluate stuttering. Are there any tests that you tend to use most often? Which assessments would you recommend to give the most accurate, comprehensive information about all of the aspects of stuttering for children? For adults?

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Stuttering and Assessment — 2 Comments

  1. As I think about it, the answer to your first question is no. There aren’t tests I use repeatedly. The students I supervise tend to use the SSI, but I don’t use it that often with private clients (the info obtained isn’t specific enough re. phonemes, word position, disfluency type, etc.). I used to give clients the S-24 (or CAT for kids) & Behavior Checklist routinely, but now the OASES gets at some of the same components. I guess there is more variety now, which is good.

  2. Thanks for your question… A disclosure at the onset of my response: I am co-author of the OASES, mentioned in Dale’s post. In my opinion, the answer to the question depends entirely upon what information you want to gain from the assessment. If what you want is an estimate of surface stuttering severity, then a test like the SSI or the TOCS or just a frequency count will give you what you’re looking for. If, however, you’re looking for more information than that – if you want to know about how the speaker is reacting to stuttering, whether the speaker is having difficulty communicating in key situations, whether there is any impact of stuttering on the speaker’s quality of life – then you will need to use a different test, because the SSI tells you nothing about that. It is for that exact reason that Bob Quesal and I developed the OASES – a means of assessing the broader impact of stuttering (necessary in educational settings, for example, where you need to document adverse impact in order to qualify a child for therapy). There are other tests, as well, that look at other aspects of stuttering – the point is to use the test that give you the information you are seeking.

    So, to answer your question, I use the OASES, because I want to understand how stuttering is affecting a speaker’s life. I use that information to plan my therapy, because it helps me understand what would help to reduce that adverse impact.

    Repeated disclosure: I am co-author of the OASES, and I receive royalties from Pearson Assessments. I am not providing the information above in an attempt to get people to use the OASES; I use the OASES and answered the way I did because it gives me the info I want in an assessment.