Speech therapy assessments

speech therapy assessments, assessments for speech therapy

Speech therapy assessments are comprehensive. During an initial evaluation, a speech and language pathologist is required to use a variety of methods and look at several different components. This provides the therapist with a look at the client’s skills in several areas of speech and language. One important part of a speech therapy assessment is the administration of standardized assessments.

According to the American Speech-Language Hearing Association (ASHA), a comprehensive speech therapy assessment includes: “Selection of standardized measures for speech, language, cognitive-communication, and/or swallowing assessment with consideration for documented ecological validity and cultural sensitivity.”

Standardized speech therapy assessment tools that are norm referenced allow the clinician to compare a client’s performance on a specific task to other individuals of the same age (and in some cases, gender).

Criterion-referenced standardized tests provide a measurement of the client’s skills compared to standards or criteria of what the client is expected to know at that age.

Speech therapy assessment tools provide the clinician with evidence-based scores that guide the SLP to determine the type and severity of diagnosis to report. For reimbursement purposes, many insurance companies also require reporting of standardized assessment scores.

Being familiar with the top speech therapy assessments can prepare clinicians for selecting and administering test instruments during evaluations. Here’s a guide to the most common speech therapy assessments and what they’re used for.

Articulation and phonology assessments

Arizona Articulation Proficiency Scale, Fourth Edition

The Arizona Articulation Proficiency Scale, Fourth Edition (AAPS-4) is a tool aimed at assessing and diagnosing speech articulation disorders. The AAPS-4 helps guide SLPs toward a more accurate evaluation and personalized intervention plan for their clients.

Age range:

18 months to 21 years


5 to 20 minutes to administer, and offers supplemental qualitative tasks that facilitate a deeper interpretation of scores.

The fourth edition of the AAPS is the most up-to-date, recent version and reflects updates aligned with recent research and clinical insights into speech articulation. Additionally, it includes enhancements to the assessment’s reliability and validity.

The AAPS-4 is a reliable, objective tool for tracking a client’s improvement towards accurate speech articulation. Data obtained through the AAPS-4 at various time increments can be compared and enables therapists to change and update intervention strategies and goals.

Clinical Assessment of Articulation and Phonology, Second Edition

The CAAP-2 yields valuable data about a client’s speech production skills. The Phonological Process Checklist evaluates 10 phonological processes.

Age range:

2 years 6 months to 11 years-old


The SLP uses the stimulus easel and the articulation inventory record form while following the prompts of the assessment and recording the child’s responses.

Published in 2013, the CAAP-2, was developed to provide an assessment of articulation and phonology that eliminates the need for phonetic transcription. The assessment is based on a sample of 1,486 children from the United States that closely resembles Census Data from 2013.

CAAP-2 results can be used to diagnose an articulation disorder or phonological disorder. By using the CAAP-2 to identify specific phonological processes that the child is using (and determining which ones are not considered to be developmentally appropriate for the child’s age), therapists can target elimination of these processes in speech therapy.

Comprehensive Test of Phonological Processing Second Edition

The CTOPP-2 is a standardized assessment that can be used to measure phonological processing skills (including phonological awareness, phonological memory, and naming skills).

Age range:

Two age levels within the test: Ages 4-6 and ages 7-24.


Administration is about 40 minutes to complete. When administering the CTOPP-2, the clinician should provide clear instructions for each subtest in the manual, within a quiet testing environment.

The CTOPP-2 is made up of 12 subtests in addition to supplemental tests, which assess an individual’s specific strengths and areas of difficulties with regards to phonological processes. SLPS can use the results of the CTOPP-2 to develop a customized treatment plan aimed at improving a client’s speech, language, and reading skills.

GFTA-3: Goldman Fristoe Test of Articulation, 3rd Edition

This GFTA-3 assessment is often administered when there are concerns about a client’s articulation or the presence of phonological patterns in a client’s speech.

Age range:

Children, adolescents, and young adults (ages 2 through 21 years 11 months).


Takes about 15 minutes and assesses a client’s production of phonemes across word positions in the Sounds-In-Words subtest. An intelligibility and stimulability section are also included in the test.

The GFTA-3 is administered through obtaining a client’s verbal response to picture stimuli. This assessment can be administered in telepractice by purchasing and downloading the digital format on Peason’s Q-global Product Page.

Early intervention and preschool assessments

Bayley Scales of Infant and Toddler Development (Bayley-III)

The Bayley Scales of Infant Development 4 is a norm-referenced, standardized measure that provides information about a child’s developmental profile compared to peers in the same age range. Scores serve as a reliable outcome measure and to monitor progress over time.

Age range:

Ages 16 days to 42 months


Through print materials, Pearson’s web-based Q-Global program, and option for administering virtually.

It measures skills within five domains including, cognition, language, motor skills, social emotional and adaptive behavior skills. This assessment is routinely updated to remain sensitive and reliable for identifying developmental delay in early childhood.

Speech therapists use this assessment in outpatient clinics and Early Intervention settings, working primarily with children experiencing a developmental delay.

Preschool Language Scale, Fifth Edition (PLS-5 English)

The Preschool Language Scale is a play-based assessment of a child’s language skills across two domains: Expressive Communication and Auditory Comprehension (receptive language skills).

Age range:

Birth-7 years 11 months


Caregiver interview (some test items allow for caregiver reporting), picture manual and toy manipulatives used to elicit and observe the child’s language skills.

The Preschool Language Scale, 5th Edition can be purchased through Pearson Assessments and is available in English and Spanish.

The company provides guidance on how to use the PLS-5 in telepractice. According to the company, the assessment’s Home Communication questionnaire can be administered via parent interview through telepractice.

Portions of the Auditory Comprehension and Expressive Communication subtests can also be administered via telepractice to contribute to the SLPs informed clinical opinion of the child’s current language skills.

REEL-4: Receptive-Expressive Emergent Language Test - Fourth Edition

The REEL-4 is available through Pro-Ed and can help SLPs identify infants and toddlers with language impairments. There are two subtests: the Vocabulary Inventory Test and the Receptive Language and Expressive Language.

Age range:

Birth through 36 months.


The results of this assessment are obtained through interviewing the caregiver. This makes the REEL-4 an excellent choice as a language assessment of a child under 3 years old that is being completed over teletherapy.

Rossetti Infant-Toddler Language Scale

The Rossetti test or the Rossetti Infant-Toddler Language Scale is a thorough assessment of preverbal and verbal communication skills in children from 0 to 36 months.

Age range:

0 to 36 months


The Rossetti test includes test forms and an examiner’s manual. A list of additional items (such as balls and picture stimuli) that are required to administer the test items can be found in the Appendix within the Examiner’s Manual.

Developed in 2006, the test uses a combination of observation, direct assessment of the child’s skills, and caregiver report to assess a child’s skills.

The Rossetti test’s purpose is to identify language delays in young children. This can assist the speech-language pathologists with making a diagnosis of an Expressive Language Delay (ICD-10 CM F80.1) or a Mixed Receptive-Expressive Language Disorder (ICD-10 CM F80.2).

Comprehensive Language Assessments

Comprehensive Assessment of Spoken Language, 2nd Edition (CASL-2)

The Comprehensive Assessment of Spoken Language, 2nd Edition (CASL-2) is a standardized language assessment and tool for evaluating many areas of a child’s expressive language skills.

Age range:

3 years to 21 years


The CASL-2 consists of 14 individually administered tests, which each take approximately 5 to 10 minutes to administer. It includes 3 test easels, record forms, and an examiner’s manual. Administer the subtests in a specified order, and use a timer for certain subtests that have specific time limits. Record the client’s responses in the record form, and calculate raw scores.

The CASL-2 yields scores in several domains of language and provides critical information to an SLP completing a language assessment including measuring an individual’s social language skills (through the Pragmatic Language subtest). This can help identify areas of difficulty for children with Autism.

The CASL-2 is one component of a comprehensive language assessment that examines the individual’s receptive and expressive language skills. Other assessment components include a clinical observation and a thorough parent interview. Subtests on the CASL-2 (such as the Pragmatic Judgment subtest) are helpful in assessing pragmatic language abilities.

CELF-5: Clinical Evaluation of Language Fundamentals - Fifth Edition

The Clinical Evaluation of Language Fundamentals or CELF-5 is one of the top speech therapy assessments given to assess language skills in school-aged children.

The CELF-5 is published by Pearson Assessments and contains several subtests that examine the client’s expressive and receptive language skills. Scores are yielded in the areas of Core Language, Receptive Language, Expressive Language, Language Structure, and Language Content.

Age range:

5 years through 21 years, 11 months.


The client verbally responds to picture stimuli presented. For telepractice, the CELF-5 picture stimuli is available as a digital product from Pearson Q-global. Using the screen sharing feature on a teleconferencing software like TheraPlatform, Speech Therapists can show their client picture stimulus books in a digital format. Therapists can learn more about telepractice and the CELF-5 on Pearson’s website.

Oral-Written Language Scale, Second Edition

The Oral-Written Language Scale, Second Edition (OWLS-II), also known as the OWLS test is an assessment tool providing a comprehensive, accurate, and useful picture of an individual’s language skills. This includes expressive and receptive language skills, in addition to reading comprehension and writing skills.

Age range:

Ages 3-21 for the Oral and Listening Comprehension scales and 5-21 for the Writing and Reading Comprehension scales.


The OWLS-II Listening Comprehension and Oral Expression kit includes an examiner’s manual, a Listening Comprehension Easel, Oral Expression easel, record forms, and the Foundations of Language Assessment handbook.

The Written Expression and Reading Comprehension kit includes an examiner’s manual, written expression response booklets, written expression easel, reading comprehension easel, record forms, and the Foundation of Language Assessment handbook.

The scales can be administered and utilized separately. However, administering all of the scales will yield a comprehensive score profile. The OWLS test takes approximately 10 to 30 minutes to administer, depending on the client and which section of the test is being administered.

The OWLS Test presents the option of administering individual scales to specifically assess areas of concerns. Alternatively, the test can be completed in its entirety for a more comprehensive assessment of communication, reading and writing skills,

Test of Expressive Language

The Test of Expressive Language (TEXL) assesses a child’s ability to produce English language forms in the categories of Vocabulary, Grammatical Morphemes, and Elaborated Phrases and Sentences.

Age range:

Ages 3 to 12 years 11 months.


It takes approximately 20 to 30 minutes and consists of 3 subtests that measure a child’s ability to produce English language forms including vocabulary, grammatical morphemes and elaborated Phrases and Sentences.

SLPs must look at a client’s strengths and weaknesses on the TEXL Assessment, keeping in mind that many components of expressive language development are interconnected.

Literacy, dyslexia and narrative language

Differential Ability Scales Assessment (DAS-II)

Differential Ability Scales Assessment (DAS-II) is a comprehensive evaluation tool that provides data about an individual’s cognitive abilities, including insight into how a child processes information. It is one of many standardized assessment tools that provide an objective measurement of a client’s skills.

Age range:

Ages of 2 years 6 months and 17 years 11 months.


The DAS-II Consists of 20 cognitive subtests. These subtests are organized into two batteries which are based on age: Early Years and School-Age. Within each battery, the subtests are subdivided into core and diagnostic subtests.

Standardized during 1987-1989 in 70 cities across the U.S. Developed by Dr. Colin D. Elliott, the DAS-II has evolved over the years to meet the changing needs of educators, psychologists, and speech therapists. This updated version offers updated artwork, new materials, revised subtests, and updated norms (representative of the 2002 U.S. population).

DIBELS (Dynamic Indicators of Basic Early Literacy Skills)

DIBELS (Dynamic Indicators of Basic Early Literacy Skills) assessment is commonly used to assess the development of early literacy and reading skills in children.

Age range:

Kindergarten through eighth grade.


The DIBELS is a research-based test containing several subtests that predict a child’s later reading proficiency. Five of the DIBELS subtests are brief, and designed to be administered in 60-seconds, in a quiet individual setting. Maze is a 3-minute measure that is designed to be administered in a group setting.

Speech therapists can identify a child’s strengths by determining which areas of literacy development the client scored within normal limits on. Subtests in which the child scored below normal on, or individual test items that were scored as incorrect can be considered difficulties. These areas can be used to formulate goals for intervention planning.

GORT: Gray Oral Reading Test, 5th Edition

Gray Oral Reading Test, 5th Edition (GORT-5) is one of the most widely used reading assessments by speech therapists.

Age range:

6 and 23 years 11 months


The Gray Oral Reading Test-5 consists of two equivalent forms (Form A and Form B). Each one contains 16 developmentally sequenced reading passages. Five comprehension questions accompany each reading passage.

Included in the Gray Oral Reading Test-5 Kit is an examiner’s manual, a student book, and examiner record booklets for Forms A and B.

Written in 1963, the Gray Oral Reading Test has since undergone several revisions. The most current edition of the Gray Oral Reading Test is the Gray Oral Reading Test-5 (5th Edition), which was published in 2012.

The results of the Gray Oral Reading Test-5 can be analyzed to determine a client’s specific areas of need, which can then be targeted during speech therapy.

Through this specific analysis, the GORT-5 can be used to improve a client’s reading and communication skills. Periodic re-assessment of this test allows for progress monitoring in speech therapy.

STAR Early Literacy Assessment

The STAR Early Literacy Assessment is a standardized test involving a series of engaging and interactive activities that are used to gain a measure of a child’s foundational reading skills.

Age range:

Kindergarten-3rd grade


The assessment takes less than 20 minutes to complete, and involves graphics and audio support, so even a child who is not reading independently can participate.

Standard scores can be used to determine the severity rating for a possible diagnosis of a Specific Reading Disorder. The ICD-10 code F81.0 would be used to specify this medical diagnosis.

The code would be used to specify reading disorders including developmental dyslexia, developmental reading disorder, dyslexia, difficulty reading, specific reading disorder.

Test of Integrated Language and Literacy Skills™

The Test of Integrated Language and Literacy Skills (TILLS) is a comprehensive, norm-referenced assessment that examines oral and written language skills in children.

Age range:

6-18 years


Materials include an Examiner’s kit, Examiner’s manual, Record forms, Student response forms, Audio downloads and an Examiner’s practice workbook.

The TILLS can be administered via telepractice (Tele-TILLS). Research demonstrates that Tele-TILLS results can be equivalent to traditional TILLS, making it a convenient and effective assessment option for speech therapists.

Test of Narrative Language-2

The Test of Narrative Language - 2nd Edition or TNL-2 is a standardized test that assesses important aspects of a child’s ability to understand and tell stories or narrative language abilities.

Age range:

5 and 15 years 11 months


The test takes approximately 15 to 20 minutes and includes an Examiner’s manual, a Picture book and an Examiner record booklet. Use cultural sensitivity when administering the test.

A primary benefit of the Test of Narrative Language is that it provides a comprehensive evaluation of narrative language skills in children and adolescents. The test allows clinicians to assess critical aspects of narrative language skills without having to transcribe children’s stories. This offers time-saving benefits to the clinician.

Aphasia, cognitive communication and traumatic brain injury assessments

Cognitive Linguistic Quick Test Plus or CLQT+

The Cognitive Linguistic Quick Test Plus is an effective tool for assessing individuals with neurological impairments, which may be caused by a known diagnosis such as stroke, TBI, or dementia.

Age range:

18 and 89 years 11 months


15 to 30 minutes to complete

Analyzing patterns of weaknesses enables speech therapists to more accurately make diagnoses.

Depending on what these weaknesses are, those diagnoses might include:
  • F06.7: Mild neurocognitive disorder due to known physiological condition (such as Alzheimer’s disease or TBI)

  • I69.0: Cognitive deficits following nontraumatic subarachnoid hemorrhage

  • I69.32: Speech and language deficits following cerebral infarction

  • I69.320: Aphasia following cerebral infarction

The results of the Cognitive Linguistic Quick Test Plus can serve as a basis for developing an effective treatment plan.

Functional Assessment of Communication Skills for Adults

The ASHA Functional Assessment of Communication Skills for Adults or the ASCHA-FACS is a standardized assessment that can be used to measure the functional communication skills of adults with speech, language, and cognitive impairments.

Age range:

18 and 89 years 11 months


20 minutes to complete. FACS includes a printed score summary and profile forms that can be photocopied, as well as a ratings card. A downloadable Excel spreadsheet is provided with the FACS, which allows the test administrator to calculate scores

The ASHA FACS is a benchmark for measuring a client’s progress in speech therapy over time. Comparing the results of an initial administration of the test with periodic re-administrations allows therapists to track improvements and adjust therapy techniques and goals accordingly.

Western Aphasia Battery

The Western Aphasia Battery assesses verbal and nonverbal language, including the reading, writing, listening, speech, and gestures.

Age range:

18 to 90 years


The full battery consists of 8 subtests (32 short tasks) and includes record forms, a Raven’s Coloured Progressive Matrices test booklet, and a set of manipulatives. The full battery takes approximately 30 to 45 minutes to complete. It takes an additional 45 to 60 minutes to complete the reading, writing, praxis, and constructions sections of the test. There is a bedside test that takes approximately 15 minutes to complete.

The Western Aphasia Battery is a comprehensive standardized assessment used by therapists to classify the type and severity of aphasia in clients. Identifying the specific type of aphasia (such as Broca’s aphasia, Wernicke’s aphasia, or global aphasia) that a client is experiencing provides critical information that should be used to develop an individualized, appropriate treatment plan.

One limitation of the Western Aphasia Battery is that the test primarily addresses language abilities and may not identify certain cognitive deficits that an individual is experiencing. The therapist can consider administering another test to assess these skills.

Apraxia assessment tools

KSPT Kaufman Speech Praxis Test

The KSPT is a norm-referenced test that can assist SLPs in identifying and treating a client with Childhood Apraxia of Speech.

Age range:

2 years to 5 years 11 months.


This assessment is simple to administer and is estimated to take approximately 5 to 15 minutes.. The client is asked to imitate a series of oral motor movements, isolated sounds, and phonemes within various consonant-vowel combinations that increase in complexity.

The KSPT can be easily administered over teletherapy because it relies solely on the child’s verbal imitation of the therapist. No picture stimuli are required. This Apraxia assessment is available through Northern Speech Services.

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Fluency assessment

Overall Assessment of the Speaker’s Experience of Stuttering (OASES)

Overall Assessment of the Speaker’s Experience of Stuttering (OASES) is a quick, comprehensive, self-report assessment that measures the impact of stuttering on an individual’s life.

Age range:

OASES-A (for adults ages 18 and above), the tool was adapted for use with school-age children (OASES-S, for ages 7-12) and teenagers (OASES-T, for ages 13-17).


The OASES includes response forms containing age-specific test items

The OASES is unique in that it examines the functional impact that stuttering has on the individual’s life. This provides valuable insight that goes beyond the severity of stuttering observed or quantified by calculating a percentage of syllables stuttered on.

When working with clients who stutter, therapists should consider the importance of addressing the emotional and psychological impacts when providing a comprehensive approach to therapy.

SSI-4: Stuttering Severity Instrument - 4th Edition

​​If you’re an SLP evaluating a client who stutters, you may want to consider administering the SSI-4. This norm-referenced assessment measures stuttering severity in children and adults.

The SSI-4 examines various areas of stuttering, including the frequency, duration, physical concomitants, and naturalness of the individual’s speech.

Age range:

2 years 10 months and up.


This test can be purchased through Pro-Ed Inc., and it contains an examiner’s manual, picture plates, and record forms. When assessing a client via teletherapy, you can position your camera to show the picture plates. You can also elicit a speech sample over teletherapy without the use of picture plates, and score it using the SSI-4.

Resources for speech therapy assessments

Knowing the most common speech therapy assessments and what areas of speech and language they examine can help SLPs complete diagnostic evaluations. Looking for more information and guidance on speech therapy assessments? TheraPlatform, an all-in-one EHR, practice management and teletherapy tool was built for therapists to help them save time on admin tasks. Start a 30-day free trial of TheraPlatform today.

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