Madhouse. That’s the word that comes to mind when I think of many of our preschool screening days. We move VERY quickly, and get information on speech/language, cognitive, social, fine motor, and gross motor skills for about 5-6 kids in the span of around 1hr/1hr 30 min just depending on the group. In my district, we hold preschool screenings on the first Friday of every month. Any parents with children 2:10 to 5 years old (and not yet in kindergarten) who have concerns about their child’s development can call and sign them up for a screening.
Here’s a rundown of how our screenings look:
- Kids start out at the train table, playing –> We see if there’s any interaction/social skills. SLPs start the simultaneous language samples!
- Kids sit on the carpet and listen to a story –> Psych gets data on their ability to attend to the story and any inappropriate vocalizations/movements (i.e. if they get up and run towards the door crying for their parents.. or scream “I don’t like you!!” to a member of the team.. neither of which is out of the ordinary! One of those two things will happen at least once on a screening day!)
- I get some info on answering questions, making predictions, and usually a little bit of vocab, depending on the book
- Teachers split up– 1 at gross motor, OT at fine motor, 2 at cognitive, 1 doing social skills with the psych. Myself and the other SLP pretty much just hop from table to table taking language samples and sometimes pulling them aside to do some quick language tasks with them!
This is what my language screener form looks like:
You can grab it here.
The teachers check concepts & do vocab pictures for me during their cognitive screening, which is why there’s nothing listed for it on my form. The ECSE teachers do the Get It, Got It, Go! (G3) testing 3x a year, and picture naming is part of it, so they pick 10 pictures from that set to use. If you’re doing it yourself, just pick 10 pictures of common items and keep them together on a key ring!
For concepts, the teachers have some blocks and a bowl and ask them to put the block in the bowl, take it out, put it on top, take it off, put it under, etc… The number of concepts is just dependent on age. For the 3 year olds, we do the basic in/out/on/off/under, and use pictures of early opposite concepts (Which item would be hot? Which 1 is big? etc.. Hot/cold, big/little, wet/dry, clean/dirty are all good early concepts!). For 4 year olds, we do a little more (like front/back, rough/smooth, etc..).
At the end, if there’s any kids with speech concerns, I do a quick artic screener. I was initially using one from my district that was there when I got there, but it wasn’t very visually appealing so I wasn’t in love with it. BUT, I recently found this articulation screener from Let’s Talk Speech Language Pathology and I LOVE it. Easy to assemble, easy to read/interpret, and just all around simple. Love it. Seriously. The only thing I wish it had were s-blend pictures/boxes.. but I just went ahead and made those myself for my own personal use!
What are the different tools you use for prek screenings? Do you think my form would be helpful for you?
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