<Robin> Welcome! Tonight we are chatting with Julie J. Masterson, Ph.D. and Barbara Bernhardt,
Ph.D., about Phonological Assessment.
<BarbaraBernhardt> Hello from Canada
<JulieMasterson> Hello from Missouri.
<Robin> Thanks for being here tonight!
<JulieMasterson> First.. thanks, Robin for inviting Barb and me to participate. I love
phonological assessment. It's one of the primary reasons I went on for my Ph.D. I wanted
to learn more about it.
<JulieMasterson> Still, optimal phonological assessment is a challenge. We have to make choices
regarding our sample size and the type of sample (single words, conversation) we elicit.
<Lori> Could you start with...How do you define phonological disorders?
<JulieMasterson> For me, I use that term as an "umbrella"- to refer to any "speech sound" disorder.
<BarbaraBernhardt> For me phonological disorders is any kind of speech sound disturbance and
that would include those with motor speech overlays. I know some people use it to
identify children with "patterns" in their speech sound realizations.
<BarbaraBernhardt> IN other words, Julie and I are aligned in our thinking and usage there
<Lori> Great..I'm on the same page too.
<JulieMasterson> Through analysis, we identify what mismatches or errors are present in the
child's system and determine the optimal way to describe them.
<BarbaraBernhardt> The challenge is optimizing an elicitation so that we have sufficient
exemplars for analysis that are relevant to a particular child's speech sound disorder
but yet don't take too much time to elicit, transcribe and analyze.
<Lori> How do you chose the sample size and type?
<JulieMasterson> Barb is probably typing her answer to this at the same moment, but I think the
answer varies according to the developmental level of the child.
<BarbaraBernhardt> It is useful to start with a basic list that samples the sounds of the target
language at least once across word positions - that takes about 50 words or so...then move
on to get more words that will strategically sample what is necessary for that child.
<JulieMasterson> In other words, I don't think "one size fits all" works in phonology assessment.
<BarbaraBernhardt> The computer program Julie and I worked on has those principles - a basic
list and a supplemental list tailored to the child's phonological level...whether it be
an early level with lots of deletions, or a later level with multisyllabic word
reductions because of contextual effects.
<JulieMasterson> The nice feature about the program is that it bases the second list on the
specific child's responses to the first list of words.
<newjersey> Barbara, do you input the responses into the program? If so, how do you input them
in phonemic symbols?
<JulieMasterson> Yes... and we've included a few predicted responses to cut down on the time
required for transcription.
<JulieMasterson> Our program includes all symbols for the complete IPA.
<BarbaraBernhardt> The program allows you to click on the right response and you don't type the
responses - you use a keyboard click option to replace the sounds with the child
substitutions - saves time and typing.
<newjersey> How is the stimulus presented?
<BarbaraBernhardt> Photos appear in the single word elicitation
<Lori> Also, how in depth does the transcription need to be? Do they need to include the
nuances of vowel distortions?
<BarbaraBernhardt> For the open entry or connected speech module, you can use whatever you want
to elicit, and there are also some short video clips to elicit sentences.
<JulieMasterson> The correct transcription, along with some potential mismatches, also appear
on the screen.
<JulieMasterson> If the child says something that's not on the screen, the clinician accesses
the box with all of the IPA symbols.
<newjersey> I have not used a computer based program. I use the Fisher-Logemann picture artic test.
<BarbaraBernhardt> If a child doesn't say all the words you want him/her to, that can be a
problem...for CAPES we allow imitation.
<BarbaraBernhardt> I am interested in difficulties people may have faced in phonological
<JulieMasterson> I hear from both students and clinicians that sample collection, transcription,
and analysis take a lot of time.
<BarbaraBernhardt> One thing people do with experience is listen for certain patterns as they
chat with the child.
<BarbaraBernhardt> That can work as long as you don't have blinders on your 'ears'....and are
willing to consider a variety of issues.
<JulieMasterson> I think that's a good idea. I like to listen to several responses and portions
of the conversation before I start transcribing.
<newjersey> I always tape record as a back up.
<BarbaraBernhardt> I call it a "bird's eye view'...what kind of manner, place, voice categories
am I hearing - are words reduced, clusters reduced; are there salient patterns by word
<Lori> I tend to tape my assessments also so that I can return to listen to them when no longer
<BarbaraBernhardt> Tape recording is a necessary backup (unless you forget to turn it on which
<JulieMasterson> The wonderful world of computers now allows us to digitize the responses and
simply hit "click" instead of rewinding to the wrong spot and having to wait....
<BarbaraBernhardt> The CAPES program allows recording on the computer - nice feature in that it
is easy to 'rewind'....can get cheap mikes at local electronics stores.
<BarbaraBernhardt> Recording is also good for the parents and child - this is how you used to
say X and how you say it now is different.
<newjersey> What type of computer and equipment does one need to run CAPES?
<Lori> Does your program store results?
<BarbaraBernhardt> CAPES - Windows 95 minimum. Stores results - can save results as word files.
<JulieMasterson> CAPES also stores the digitized responses until you delete them.
<JulieMasterson> Once we get the responses, the next question is what to do with them! What are
your thoughts or questions about types of analyses?
<BarbaraBernhardt> Do people have to have norms to qualify children for service?
<newjersey> In the public schools in NJ you need to have norms, but for private practice you
decide depending on how severe it is.
<BarbaraBernhardt> CAPES uses the Iowa-Nebraska Norms from Smit-Bernthal 1990 as a basis for
filtering out sounds that a child doesn't need to have acquired by a certain age.
<JulieMasterson> When I first moved to Missouri, I found out that a child who substituted a "t"
for a "k" as part of her artic disorder didn't qualify, but a child who fronted velars
<JulieMasterson> Needless to say, we got to work on re-vamping our state's qualifying criteria.
CAPES allows some flexibility in that area.
<BarbaraBernhardt> Yes - you can customize the sound norms for your district...would take a bit
of work to include sufficient deletion information.
<Lori> How many of the guests work in the schools?
<jkorn> I am both in the school & in private practice.
<newjersey> I consulted in the NJ school. Now they can only take students that are in the
bottom 10% in articulation.
<BarbaraBernhardt> What do they mean, the bottom 10% - 10 % percent consonants correct, or the
10th percentile, or what?
<Lori> severe articulation problems
<newjersey> 10th percentile for the age range
<BarbaraBernhardt> It is a shame that a child's other factors aren't taken into account often -
variaiblity, parent support, language problems in addition, motor issues, perception,
emotional response...etc. when measuring severity
<JulieMasterson> Missouri allows some flexibility in considering developmental factors (doesn't
have to be a derived score from a standardized test).
<BarbaraBernhardt> And of course some children normalize with age...but what happens to
socialization and literacy in the meantime?
<newjersey> I completely agree with you, but funding plays a part and that is how they cut back
<BarbaraBernhardt> Anyway, back to analysis - one thing I feel strongly about is that we need
to consider not just speech sounds, but word structures when doing analyses...CVC, CVCV,
CCVC, etc, plus stress patterns of longer words.
<JulieMasterson> I agree with Barb. Just this week we had a kid who fronted velars at the beginning
of words, but not at the end.
<JulieMasterson> We thought that his use of velars in the medial position varied, but turns out it
didn't... he always fronted velars that began syllables (onset), but not those that ended
syllables. Stress played a major part!
<Lori> This is where your test/program comes in very handy.
<BarbaraBernhardt> In case anyone tries a CAPES DEMO, go to Treatment Reports without Nonlinear
Features first - a summary of results.
<JulieMasterson> I think we could've figured it out without the program, but viewing those
reports made it as clear as a bell!
<BarbaraBernhardt> Another of my biases is that the majority of children require us to find out
what they CAN do as well as what they can't...so we can build on strengths to help them.
<BarbaraBernhardt> Following on Julie's comments, if we have a good schema of what we are looking
for in data, we can often make good hypotheses about what is happening.
<JulieMasterson> Bernthal and Bankson (and others) have encouraged us for years to do a
"descriptive" or independent analysis, noting all of the sounds and features that are
being used by the child.
<BarbaraBernhardt> Then we can find a report (or 200 of them) to support or reject our
hypothesis with numbers.
<JulieMasterson> Barb's point is important... computers don't do the analysis, we do! They just
help us find what we need really fast.
<BarbaraBernhardt> Yes - we need both an independent analysis to know what is possible, and a
relational to know how the child compares with the adult...what the needs are.
<BarbaraBernhardt> I also like being able to tell parents what a child CAN do - if the child is
very unintelligible, then the parents feel that there is some hope...
<JulieMasterson> Both Barb and I started our careers as clinicians and we still consider
ourselves to be clinicians. Any other issues re phonological assessment we should touch on?
<Lori> This is important as much for the child's speech intervention as well as supporting the
need to include more children in our caseload.
<newjersey> Please tell a little more about CAPES, can you give an idea of the pictures etc.
<BarbaraBernhardt> The photos are balanced for gender, ethnicity and are engaging....even
3-year-olds find it fascinating to look at them...
<JulieMasterson> The clinician and the child sit in front of the computer and the child names
<BarbaraBernhardt> If you trancribe on-line, the child has to pause between pictures (you can
transcribe later)...but some kids like watching you 'spell' the word on the transcriber
<JulieMasterson> If it's correct, we click to the next screen. If it's not correct, we usually
flag it and come back later to transcribe.
<BarbaraBernhardt> I also get kids to click the enter button for the next picture so they are
part of the assessment.
<Lori> Are they drawn pictures or photos?
<JulieMasterson> After getting the responses to first set of words (Profile), you have to enter
the transcriptions so CAPES will know which follow-up list to present.
<JulieMasterson> After all stimuli are presented and transcribed, the FUN begins! Lots of
choices for analyses. As Barb said, we usually formulate some ideas and go get the
necessary reports to confirm or reject those notions.
<BarbaraBernhardt> Some people do both lists on one day, or some do the Profile list of 46 words
the first day, print out the results and do the second list a different day...depends
on the child - I have had kids do the whole thing most days.
<BarbaraBernhardt> The nice thing is you can save the reports you want and/or print them...you
never need to buy record forms.
<JulieMasterson> If you like, you can go directly to treatment recommendations, but skipping the
analysis reports will cause you to miss lots of cool stuff.
<BarbaraBernhardt> I recommend in fact going to treatment recommendations first to get the
summary...but there are several ways to go about it...
<Lori> How long does the profile take?
<BarbaraBernhardt> The profile takes about the same time as a typical artic test - 20 minutes,
<JulieMasterson> About 15 minutes or so for most kids. Transcription, of course, varies, too.
<JulieMasterson> Time to elicit the IPE (Indivualized Phonological Eval) also varies. I had a
research subject who did IPE I in less than 10 minutes two weeks ago!
<BarbaraBernhardt> Note that you can also have elicitations in languages other than English if
you use the Connected Speech/Open Entry module - we did a Russian kid last year.
<BarbaraBernhardt> Yes - IPE 1 has only 20 additional words and is aimed at the deleters...the
patterns are usually clear and easy to see.
<JulieMasterson> CAPES also has dialect filters, which allow clinicians to determine mismatches
that might be due to use of African-American English or Spanish-influenced English.
<BarbaraBernhardt> If you sit down and do the two lists and transcribe on-line and then do
reports, that takes about 1 hour total.
<BarbaraBernhardt> If you transcribe later, of course your time will go up....I never used to
transcribe on-line but with this new entry system, I find it actually works for phonemes...
even if not for diacritics-
<BarbaraBernhardt> Diacritics meaning things like voicing, aspiration, dentalization,
<Lori> You've really thought of everything.
<JulieMasterson> Our goal for CAPES was to allow you to gather a sufficient sample, analyze it,
determine strengths, weaknesses, and corresponding treatment goals and still have time to
go to a basketball game or something in the evenings!
<BarbaraBernhardt> My previous method of elicitation involved use of objects (as in Hodson
approach)....that was a lot of fun, but boy, the transcription was a challenge, because
the words often came in unexpected orders across children.
<Robin> Mirla, we have been chatting for a while and will be wrapping up our chat soon. Do you
have any questions for our guest hosts?
<newjersey> Please let me know where we get the demo and try it?
<JulieMasterson> You can visit The Psychological Corporation's website www.psychcorp.com
or call their 800 number to request a demo copy.
<BarbaraBernhardt> The demo is fully functional for 30 days....which is great, - it gives you
time to see if it is for you
<JulieMasterson> Another thought about the demo... If anyone comes to the ASHA convention in
Atlanta, you can visit TPC's booth and get a copy.
<BarbaraBernhardt> I am always willing to answer emails on usage regarding individual children...
if you have questions on the program the TPC has a phone line to help you with
installation and usage.
<newjersey> Thank you and I enjoy this chat room, my first!
<JulieMasterson> Mine, too, NJ!
<Robin> Glad you could join us newjersey !
<BarbaraBernhardt> By the fact you are all on this chatroom...means you are not as technophobic
as I am...this is my first chatroom too...hard to believe I even am listed as an author
on a computer program....what is the world coming to?!
<Lori> We all start somewhere at some time.
<Robin> Many thanks to both Julie Masterson and Barbara Bernhardt for joining us tonight!
<newjersey> How can one find out about more chat room topics?
<Robin> new jersey, you can join our email reminder list or look on the website's calendar
for the chat schedule.
<Robin> you can email feedback or join our mailing list on the homepage
<Robin> We will be posting the chat transcript in our on-line archive with our hosts' approval!
<BarbaraBernhardt> Thanks for your interest in phonology....and you have my approval.
<JulieMasterson> Ditto.. this was a pleasure.
<BarbaraBernhardt> Great fun - would be willing to do another one sometime -
<Robin> GREAT! We will take you up on that!
<Lori> Will you both be at ASHA Atlanta?
<JulieMasterson> I'll be in Atlanta.
<Robin> Thank you all for coming!
<JulieMasterson> Good night and thanks for the invitation!
<Robin> Goodnight all!!!!!!!!!!!