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Pre-School CELF-whats involved?

(9 Posts)
Ilikedisney30 Mon 30-May-11 22:23:35

Hi, I have been reading these boards for a while and always find the information provided very interesting. My 4.6 year old step-son has difficulties with talking and understanding He is now seeing a SLT who wants to carry out the preschool CELF and look at the following subtests
Understanding Sentence Structure
Following Concepts and Directions
Understanding Basic concepts
Our appointment over ran and we didnt have time to ask what kind of "things" she would be looking at for each subtest or what he would have to do during this test.
Any ideas??, this is a whole new world to me and a bit scary.
Thanks smile

wasuup3000 Mon 30-May-11 22:34:56

Just a book of pictures to point at or say what he thinks is happening re the sentance structure. It tests receptive and expressive language. receptive is his understanding and expressive is his grammer, speech sounds ect. The SLT has a form and she scores it and will gain a score in terms of age which maybe different form your sons chronological age. She may also play with him to guage his interaction.

Ilikedisney30 Mon 30-May-11 23:27:31

Thanks wasuup.
His speech is clear, he has a large vocab but isnt very good at decribiing things.
He doesnt automatically use many verbs when talking about stuff but seems to understand the right one if you give him a choice between 2 (eg) Are you climbiing or eating, (asked whilst he is going up a ladder at the park) and he replied correctly

Following concepts and direction?? Is that understanding and using words such as "up, down" etc???

I cant even being to guess what understanding basic concepts it about blush

wasuup3000 Tue 31-May-11 00:20:18

Understanding smallest, biggest, highest, lowest ect at a guess and ones such as your example.

So you think you maybe looking at expressive being more of a problem in terms of using he and she appropraitely ect or speech pragmaics?

Anyway don't worry, it's kept fun and simple and nothing to worry about in terms of the test.

ButterflySally Tue 31-May-11 21:02:32

The CELF-Preschool is a standardised assessment tool which measures a child's performance on the test against other children of their age. Each subtest yields a 'standard score'. The average standard score for each subtest is between 7-13. A score of 3, for example, would indicate that the child is having significant difficulties in comparison to other children of the same age. A score of 10 would suggest they are smack-bang in the middle of average. A score of 14 would suggest they are above average.

In addition to giving this numerical score, the test allows an SLT to analyse different aspects of language to see which areas are strengths and which areas your child has particular difficulty with, as children with language disorders do not present with identical profiles. For example, some children's errors may be more around grammatical understanding rather than vocabulary, others may have significant difficulties with vocabulary, others may have poor auditory memory which is underlying their poor performance. Analysing the pattern of errors can also give the SLT info on what would be most appropriate areas to target in therapy.

Understanding Sentence Structure, Following Concepts and Directions, Understanding Basic concepts:

These subtests are all what we call 'receptive language' subtests - they look at different aspects of comprehension. It sounds as though your SALT is trying establish what your child's comprehension of language is like in comparision to other children his age. That's not to say his difficulties don't lie in other areas - however the therapist will want to establish if there is a discrepancy between what he can understand versus what he can say, or if his difficulties with what he can say are as a result of underlying difficulties with understanding. Some children can be good at using environmental cues to support their understanding, but when tested, gaps in language understanding can be evident. I'm not saying this is the case with your son, of course, but the therapist will be wanting to rule comprehension difficulties out.

'Understanding sentence structure' looks at a child's understanding of grammatical elements. The therapist says a sentence and the child points to the picture that matches the sentence. Sentence forms include different verb tenses (going to/-ed/passive tense), prepositions, indirect objects (e.g. mum showed the dog the cat) to name a few.

'Following concepts and directions' looks at a child's ability to follow instructions containing a range of concepts as well as their ability to follow instructions of differing length (e.g. one-part, two-part and three-part instructions). A child with auditory memory difficulties will have difficulties following longer instructions. Concepts are slightly more abstract and more linguistic in nature than basic concepts and include things like between / next to / before / after / except / unless etc. The therapist gives an instruction, and using a visual stimulus, the child is expected to carry out the instruction.

'Understanding basic concepts' looks at how well a child understands, well, basic concepts. The instructions are kept very short (one-part) as the focus is on the child's understanding of the concepts. Basic concepts are easier than the concepts contained in 'following concepts and directions'. Examples of basic concepts are in, tall, large, same, different, long, short, empty, full etc. Again, the therapist says a sentence and the child points to the picture that matches.

Sorry - long post - but hope this helps.

Ilikedisney30 Tue 31-May-11 22:35:15

Wow, thanks so much Butterflysally smile
After reading your post I can see where some of his difficulties will be. The SLT suspects he has a language dissorder rather then a language delay.
If he does get a low score, lets say 3, will theraphy over a period of time help or will be always be significantly effected by his language problems.

ButterflySally Wed 01-Jun-11 10:03:43

It's hard to predict the long-term outcomes for children with language difficulties as every child is different and language difficulties often present in different ways. To some extent, nothing short of a crystal ball is needed!

However, we do know that some children with delays 'catch up' with their peers and are ok. We also know that other children tend to struggle with significant life-long language issues. That's not to say children with on-going difficulties won't make progress - therapy can ameliorate the effects of the language difficulties and lessen the impact, it can help the child develop compensatory strategies to 'work around' their language needs, and can help people in the child's environment support the child's ability to communicate as effectively as possible, again lessening the impact.

I wouldn't want to say which outcome would be likely for your son as many factors (age, nature & profile of language difficulty, any other additional needs, response to input, how needs change over time, etc) would need to be taken into account.

2Siobhan Wed 01-Jun-11 11:33:39

Thanks for this tread. My ds (5y) did this test recently and didn't really understand what the scores meant. He got a 3 in linguistic concepts, 6 in basic concepts and 8 in sentence structure.

Ilikedisney30 Wed 01-Jun-11 23:35:55

Anybody got any idea how behind with language a child has to before the LEA will look at giving them a statement, or this that like asking "how long is a peice of string"

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