April 24, 2015

Intelligibility in Context Scale: Normative and validation data for English-speaking preschoolers

The following article has been accepted for publication today:
McLeod, S. & Crowe, K. & Shahaeian, A. (2015, in press April). Intelligibility in Context Scale: Normative and validation data for English-speaking preschoolers. Language, Speech, and Hearing Services in Schools. 
Updated publication details: 
McLeod, S. & Crowe, K. & Shahaeian, A. (2015). Intelligibility inContext Scale: Normative and validation data for English-speaking preschoolers. Language, Speech, and Hearing Services in Schools, 46(3), 266-276. doi: 10.1044/2015_LSHSS-14-0120 
Here is the abstract:

Purpose: To describe normative and validation data on the Intelligibility in Context Scale (ICS, McLeod, Harrison, & McCormack, 2012a) for English-speaking children.
Method: The ICS is a seven item parent report measure of children’s speech intelligibility with a range of communicative partners. Data were collected from the parents of 803 Australian English-speaking children aged 4;0 to 5;5 (37.0% were multilingual).
Results: The mean ICS score was 4.4 (SD = 0.7) of a possible total score of 5. Children’s speech was reported to be most intelligible to their parent, followed by their immediate family, friends, and teachers, and least intelligible to strangers. The ICS had high internal consistency (α = .94). Significant differences in scores were identified based on sex and age, but not socioeconomic status (SES) or the number of languages spoken. There were significant differences in scores between children whose parents had concerns about their child’s speech (M = 3.9) and those who did not (M = 4.6). Sensitivity of .82 and specificity of .58 was established as the optimal cut-off. Test-retest reliability and criterion validity was established for 184 children with speech sound disorder. There was a significant low correlation between the ICS mean score and percentage of phonemes correct (PPC, r =.30), percentage of consonants correct (PCC, r =.24), and percentage of vowels correct (PVC, r =.30) on the Diagnostic Evaluation of Articulation and Phonology (Dodd et al., 2002). Thirty-one parents completed the ICS about English and another language spoken by their child with speech sound disorder. The significant correlations between the scores suggest that the ICS may be robust between languages.
Conclusion: This paper provides normative ICS data for English-speaking children and additional validation of the psychometric properties of the ICS. The robustness of the ICS was suggested since mean ICS scores were not affected by SES, number of languages spoken, or whether the ICS was completed about English or another language. The ICS is recommended as a screening measure of children’s speech intelligibility.

April 12, 2015

Identifying phonological awareness difficulties in preschool children with speech sound disorders

It has been exciting to see the recent interest in Sarah Masso's paper from her PhD

Masso, S., Baker, E., McLeod, S. & McCormack, J. (2014). Identifying phonological awareness difficulties in preschool children with speech sound disorders. Speech, Language, and Hearing, 17, 58-68.

This paper has been listed as one of the most read papers in the past month and the past year from the journal's website (here). We also received  a request for a copy of the paper from Bratislava, Slovakia this week!

April 9, 2015

Sarah M's travels and accomplishments

Sarah Masso has just learned that she has been awarded a Student Travel Award to attend the Australasian Human Development Association Conference in Wellington, New Zealand in a few months' time. The prize includes $500 + her conference registration.

Sarah spent the past few days visiting Bathurst. We have had an enjoyable time working on a conference poster, conference abstract, and the penultimate version of a journal article.

Sarah and Kate's work with the Sound Start Study has commenced well this year. Children have been recruited in stage 1 and a number of stage 2 assessments have been completed already. The children are on school holidays at the moment. Term 2 is a busy time when Sarah and Kate complete stage 2 and stage 3 assessments to identify the children who will participate in the stage 4 randomised controlled trial of Phoneme Factory Sound Sorter. It is wonderful to work with such talented and dedicated students and staff.

April 6, 2015

Pursuit Award

Sarah Verdon has been named as a finalist of the Pursuit Award. Here is the description of the award from the Bloorview Research Institute's website:
"The Pursuit Award recognizes current PhD students and recent alumni from around the globe for their outstanding achievements in childhood disability research.
Finalists are chosen based on significance of research results, methodologic rigour, empirical content, and impact on childhood disability care."
Sarah will fly to Canada in May to make a presentation about her research along with the other two finalists. The winner will be announced after the presentations.

 Jane McCormack was runner-up for this award in 2013.
It is wonderful to see that Charles Sturt University's PhD students are being recognised for making an important contribution to international childhood disability research.

April 1, 2015

Visiting Albury

The Albury/Thurgoona campus of CSU is 5-6 hours south of the Bathurst campus. This week I visited the Albury campus to attend my first Academic Senate meeting as a Professorial Forum representative. The Senate meeting covered issues of teaching, research, staffing, students, and other aspects of university business. I was impressed by the alignment of CSU's motto "For the public good" and the discussions of the Senate that supported staff, students, and our communities.

While in Albury I visited Sarah Verdon in her new office. She has commenced a 3-year position as a research fellow with the Research Institute of Professional Practice, Learning and Education.
I also visited the speech pathology team.
Sarah Verdon in her new office in Albury
Sharynne with members of the speech pathology team in Albury:
Jane McCormack, Catherine Easton, Linda Wilson