This book is addressed to the practicing speech clinician and neuropsychologist dealing with aphasic adults and children, as well as with children who have delayed or disordered language development. It is also written as a primary or ancillary text in graduate courses dealing with the assessment of speech and language problems. To view the development of assessment methods in context, a brief historical introduction is necessary. In addition, we attempt to establish a frame of reference for reviewing available methods by describing key requirements for an acceptable testing method in general and for the examination of brain-damaged populations in particular.
The main content of this book deals with contemporary methods of assessment, ranging from basic screening for aphasia to detailed comprehensive methods. Each test is described in some detail, including ordering information and price, but particularly the method of testing. We then review the strengths and weaknesses of each test, including those designed for children from infancy to school age. Information on test procedures, psychometric properties, available norms, the theoretical positions of test authors, and the most appropriate areas of use and corresponding research are described to provide the clinician with sufficient information to choose tests suitable for the individual patient. Other tests that have found little use in published studies are listed only briefly. The last part of the book provides a discussion contemporary clinical practice, with special reference to widely differing problems, ranging from purely research-oriented questions to questions of measuring day-to-day improvement during therapy and assessing communicative ability in the home or occupational setting.
In preparing this book, we note that during the last two decades there has been particular interest and active research in the testing of aging patients, in dementia, the psycholinguistic approach to language disorders, and in the development of scales for functional communication as a more pragmatic, ecologically valid method of assessing day-to-day living abilities.
We are grateful to helpful colleagues in speech/language pathology, particularly to Dr. Martha Taylor Sarno at New York University who suggested the preparation of this book and for her valuable assistance over the course of writing it. Thanks also to Dr. Harold Goodglass Boston and Sonya E. Bates, M.Sc., in Adelaide, Australia, for valuable comments on the manuscript. Carol Stach, M.A. at the Houston (TX) Veterans Administration Medical Center and Ruth Fink, M.A. at Moss Rehabilitation Research Institute in Philadelphia are thanked for making available their testing resources for examination on a number of occasions. Finally, we thank our editor, Fiona Stevens, for her patience and guidance.