Children who have difficulty with short-term auditory memory tasks most likely do not accurately hear or understand oral information despite having normal hearing (Heine 2003). These children may also have difficulty with listening comprehension tasks that are necessary for learning, social interactions, and overall life success (Mense, Debney, and Bruce 2006). They struggle to recall information in a short time frame (even after a few seconds or minute).
Speech-language pathologists or teachers should administer this quick data check or informal progress monitoring tool to children prior to beginning targeted intervention services. It is intended for preschool-elementary school age children who have normal hearing. The entire tool may be administered to children 6 and older. Certain sections may be administered to children as young as 3 years of age. Use the portions of the tool that you determine are most appropriate for each student based on your professional judgement. There are sections for number repetition and sentence repetition. Write behavioral observations on the form such as if the child appeared to repeat numbers and words as a strategy or if he or she appeared attentive/inattentive. Write pertinent background history such as recent hearing screening date and result, if the child has a diagnosis of ADHD or ADD, if the child is currently talking medication for ADHD, and parent/teacher/SLP concerns about learning.
After several speech-language therapy or intervention sessions, read aloud the same sections previously administered in this informal assessment tool. Each part of this tool may be given 3 additional times to monitor children’s progress over an extended period of time. This may be used for children with an identified speech language disorder and already receiving speech-language therapy. It may be given to kids receiving Response to Intervention (RTI). Please note results from this tool will not confirm or rule out an auditory processing disorder. That determination is made by a licensed audiologist. Results from this quick data check will provide information about the skills a child can and/or can not do on the date of the informal evaluation. The results can assist in future speech/language therapy session planning or to make decisions for students in the RTI process within the public school system.
This tool also includes strategies and activities to build short-term auditory memory skills. A reference and resource list is also included so that you can review more about the brain and it’s influence on memory, learning, language, and literacy.