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CELF Preschool-2

Posted on 24 July, 2016 at 22:05 Comments comments (1)

When your child reaches an age between 3 and 6, The CELF Preschool-2 test can be administered to determine any language difficulties. Written by Elisabeth Wiig, Wayne Secord, and Eleanor Semel, this is a well-respected and practical tool that helps clinicians target problematic areas, and determine services for preschool children with disabilities. This is not the only version available, CELF tests can be used for ages ranging from 5:00-21:00. In regards to language, there many different areas involved with these tests.

The main 9 concepts the CELF Preschool-2 tests are as followed:

1. Sentence Structure

2. Word Structure

3. Expressive Vocabulary

4. Concepts and Following Directions

5. Recalling Sentences

6. Basic Concepts

7. Word Classes

8. Recalling Sentences in Context

9. Phonological Awareness


These tests are paired with books that are child-friendly and filled with colorful visual stimuli to elicit the best results. Each of these sections plays an important role in the classification of language impairments in young children.

For Sentence Structure, the child may be asked to point to “The duck is walking towards the girl”. This is used to evaluate their capacity to interpret the sentence spoken to them. This is a skill that can be developed by a parent consistently speaking to their child about what is going on in their own environment!

Word Structure is used to determine the child’s ability to apply the rules of morphology and appropriately use pronouns.

The objective of the Expressive Vocabulary section is to determine the child’s ability to label pictures. For example, the child may be shown a picture of a girl riding her bike and asked, “What is this girl doing?” Acceptable answers include riding, biking, pedaling, and ride a bike.

Concepts and Following Directions can be a difficult task for some children, but this will get easier as a child gets older and continues to learn! In this section your child will be instructed, “When I point to the a tiger, you point to a giraffe. Go.” If the child follows these instructions, then they have done it correctly.

Next is Recalling Sentences, or the ability to imitate sentence without changing the meaning. This is a prime example of how normal and abnormal language development can be distinguished.

Basic Concepts is a section in which your child will be shown three pictures: a hot dog, an ice cream cone, and a piece of cake. Then the child will be told to point to the one that is cold. This is a skill that you can practice with your child at home!

The objective of the section Word Classes is to evaluate your child’s understanding of how words relate to each other. For example “How do the words slide and swing go together?”

Recalling Sentences in Context evaluates your child’s ability to repeat a phrase that is spoken to them.

Phonological Awareness is the final section and it evaluates your child’s awareness of sound structures of language and their ability to manipulate those sounds. (CELF Preschool 2 Australian)

Following these tests, two checklists must be completed by the clinician, parent, or other caregiver. The first is the Pre-Literacy Rating Scale; the objective is to identify pre-literacy skills that may influence the child’s development of reading and writing skills. Next is the Descriptive Pragmatics Profile, which is used to identity nonverbal and verbal pragmatic deficits that may negatively influence social and academic communication in context. (CELF Preschool 2 Australian)

In Australia and New Zealand 342 children were assessed for the CELF Preschool-2 and they ranged in age from 3:00-6:11. Half of the children were boys and the other have were girls. This project was conducted at Macquarie University, Sydney by Dr Jane Carstairs and Dr Rosemarie Lloyd, with the assistance of Ms. Lauren Krause to determine the appropriate standardization.

So how do you know this test is valid? The CELF Preschool-2 Australian test’s validity comes from a study conducted in the United States. There were 62 males and 58 females, and they were all tested on two separate occasions, these results were compared. Stability was calculated using Pearson’s product-moment correlation coefficient. The result found to be excellent across all ages for Recalling Sentence and Expressive Vocabulary. Good for Word Structure, Concepts and Following Direction, Basic Concepts, and Word Classes. And found to be adequate for the sections Recalling Sentences in Context, Phonological Awareness, Pre-Literacy Rating Scale, and Descriptive Pragmatics Profile.

Getting your child formally tested can be difficult, but Jenny has found much success with getting kids to complete their work and stay motivated, while having fun doing so! It is important to have your child’s strengths and weaknesses assessed in order to better prepare them for their future!



-Molly Cagle




Wiig, Elisabeth, Wayne Secord, and Eleanor Semel. CELF Preschool 2 Australian. 2nd ed. St. Marrickville: Harcourt Assessment, 2006. Print.


A day in the life our occupational therapists

Posted on 18 July, 2016 at 2:05 Comments comments (0)


Lucy: A day in the life of one of our Occupational Therapists



For Lucy, each new day is as unique as the children she treats. She works in a variety of setting from an elementary school to a clinic, and this flexibility can cultivate great progress in her clients.

Kids spend a large portion of their week in a school setting, so play skills are vital. This OT aims to guide children towards independence; this encompasses teaching healthy interactions with peers, proper body language, and toilet timing. Toilet timing is when a caregiver regularly places the child on the toilet at timed intervals to provide ample opportunity for the child to go. Lucy also works with the parents to create scripts for every day tasks. These scripts must target a concrete single behavior that is in need of management. The goal must be simple and presented regularly to the child. Lucy has found this method to be successful in many areas including using the toilet.

Repetition is important when dealing with children with various disabilities. Handedness can be a confusing concept for some Lucy’s clients, but with repetition, positivity, and encouragement she can help them figure out their hand preference. Handedness is an important concept for a child to learn at a young age, as it influences their muscle memory and literacy skills.

Lucy also uses an approach called Applied Behavioral Analysis, or ABA. ABA is an evidence-based method that helps record progress in children. Lucy works with her clients accumulate transferable skills from a classroom or clinic setting to a normal social setting. Lucy also focuses on the training the parents, this is a vital concept because “teachable moments” during daily activities are crucial to the child’s development.

For Occupational Therapists, establishing a relationship with the family is just as important as the relationship with the child. Especially when it comes to feeding issues. Lucy uses a program called Sensational Meal Times. This is a program that was developed by an OT and Dietitian in Australia, and has provided positive results. Lucy works with the parents to figure out what foods, textures, and smells the child will routinely encounter in the home. Then, she aims to find foods that are similar to what they always eat. The goal is to expand the child’s food palate, making meal times healthier and more enjoyable.

The life of an Occupational Therapist is never boring. Lucy’s day demands various skills and approaches, but she makes it look so easy!


-Molly Cagle


A day in the life of a speech language pathologist

Posted on 18 July, 2016 at 2:00 Comments comments (0)

Jenny: A day in the life of a Speech Pathologist




The services of a Speech Language Pathologist are in high demand. Dr Jenny Harasty is a renowned Speech Pathologist and Neuroscientist, with a Masters and PhD in the area of brain function. Jenny has been practicing for the past 25 years, providing her with the skills to work with a wide range of families and adults. Contrary to what many people believe, her caseload is not limited to children struggling with articulation. This profession encompasses a variety of complex difficulties and disabilities.

Jenny can see as many as eight different clients in one day, all at different locations! In the morning, Jenny may start with a five-year-old who needs positive behavioral management, because he cannot control his tantrums and has an autism spectrum disorder. Jenny works diligently to find the most effective technique to teach this child. Some kids prefer reading a story about super heroes and how they handle their anger. When they get an answer correct, receiving a piece of clay to fiddle with might be the encouragement they need to continue to improve. Others may show more progress when they play games, and are awarded points when they act appropriately.

On multiple occasions Jenny has found that it is not a specific activity that causes the child to tantrum, but rather, he is lacking the language skills to express what he is thinking. If this is the case, Jenny then works to pinpoint the breakdown in the learning process, and uses evidence-based methods to target the root problem.

Jenny could then leave her clinic and travel to a nursing home, where she works closely with the staff to assist her clients afflicted with dysphagia. Dysphagia is a swallowing disorder than can lead to aspiration. Jenny must use a variety of tools and methods to assess the kinds of foods these patients can and cannot eat. Difficulties with swallowing can major health problems, so Jenny’s attentiveness is vital!

From there, Jenny may travel to a primary school to aid a child who has suffered from a traumatic brain injury. She uses a variety of games like Twister and card games to physically and mentally stimulate this child. But her ability to help the people is not limited to the younger and older generations. Working in their homes can act as a safe place for teenagers working through the pressures of secondary school. Making friends can be a foreign task to some kids, but Jenny creates a welcoming and enriching environment to help these young adults learn to love themselves and others. After this she may help a young adult with difficulties train for travel and a vocation. Helping them follow the instructions needed in their job and sorting out difficulties with processes and remembering words needed so they can stay in the job.

A day in the life of Speech Pathologist can be hectic, but it is also a science that helps a variety of people. Bouncing from case to case sounds difficult, but Jenny is a pro!


-Molly Cagle