Title: 'The CASP: A Practical Speech Assessment Tool for Infants and Toddlers with Hearing Losses'
Track: 4 - Early Intervention
Keyword(s): Speech development, assessment, infants, hearing loss
Learning Objectives:
  1. identify indicators of auditory-guided speech development after sensory aid fitting,
  2. list the advantages of the Conditioned Assessment of Speech Production (CASP) over speech sample analysis,
  3. discuss how the CASP can be used to document children’s progress in intervention programs.


Infants and toddlers who have well-fit hearing aids (HAs) or cochlear implants (CIs) typically make substantial progress in prelinguistic speech development during the first 2 years of sensory aid use. Their rate of progress can reveal much about the auditory perceptual effects of HA and CI use even before words are produced on a regular basis. In research settings, advances in prelinguisitc speech development are usually assessed by collecting and analyzing speech samples. Sampling is, however, very time-consuming and likely to be impractical for early interventionists. The Conditioned Assessment of Speech Production (CASP; Ertmer & Jung, 2012; Ertmer & Stoel-Gammon, 2008) is an easily administered, time-efficient alternative to speech sample analysis. By giving the CASP at regular intervals (e.g., every 3 or 6 months), early interventionists can determine whether gains in auditory-guided speech development are being made. This presentation has four main purposes: (1) attendees will be familiarized with prelinguistic utterances through audio-recordings, (2) data will be presented regarding the emergence of speech-like utterances during the first 2 years of CI use, (3) CASP administration procedures will be described and illustrated through a short video clip, and (4) the results of a recent study of the concurrent validity of the CASP and speech sample data will be shared. The latter study included 19 young CI recipients who contributed speech samples and CASP scores at 6, 12, 18, and 24 months post-activation. Correlation analyses showed strong concurrent validity between the CASP and speech sample scores across all intervals (r = .752, p <.001). In sum, the CASP was found to be a valid, reliable, and practical tool for assessing progress in speech development in young CI recipients. Uses of this tool by early interventionists will be discussed.
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David Ertmer - POC,Primary Presenter,Author
Purdue University
     Credentials: Ph.D., CCC-SLP
     Other Affiliations: American Speech-Language and Hearing Association
      David J. Ertmer is former Professor in Speech, Language, and Hearing Sciences at Purdue University in West Lafayette, Indiana. He received a B.S. from Marquette University, a M. S. from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, and a Ph.D. from Purdue University, all in the field of Communication Disorders. His clinical career includes 17 years as a school speech pathologist in Wisconsin and Colorado. He has conducted research in early speech and language development in young children who are deaf or hard of hearing and taught courses in aural rehabilitation to graduate and undergraduate students.

Financial - No relevant financial relationship exist.

Nonfinancial - No relevant nonfinancial relationship exist.