When a young child has a severe speech sound disorder--especially one severe enough to affect the child's intelligibility--it's critical to determine the degree to which motor speech impairment contributes to the disorder. Now there's a psychometrically well-supported tool that helps speech-language pathologists do just that.
Dynamic Evaluation of Motor Speech Skill (DEMSS) is a criterion-referenced assessment designed to help with differential diagnosis of speech sound disorders in children with severely impaired speech production. Developed by one of the leading experts on childhood apraxia of speech (CAS) and an expert on test development, this tool is an efficient way to assess children who have significant speech impairment, especially reduced phonemic and/or phonetic inventories, vowel or prosodic errors, poor speech intelligibility, and/or little to no verbal communication.
USE DEMSS TO
- Diagnose severe speech sound disorders in children 3 and older
- Facilitate, confirm, or rule out a diagnosis of CAS
- Estimate the severity of a child's disorder and what their prognosis might be
- Inform the development of treatment goals
- Make decisions about the most effective methods of cueing during treatment
DEMSS is a dynamic assessment administered by SLPs in a clinical setting, usually in about 30 minutes or less. The child is tested on production of 60 utterances, divided into eight grouped sets according to syllable structure. For each item on the DEMSS, the SLP provides a verbal model, asks the child for a direct imitation, and follows up with more cues and supports if the child's first attempt is incorrect.
Scoring takes into account overall accuracy in producing the word, vowel accuracy, consistency of production, and accuracy of prosodic features of the word. After administering DEMSS and determining results, SLPs can schedule a follow-up meeting with the child's parents to share results and make recommendations.
Clear and comprehensive guidance is available to DEMSS users. The manual walks SLPs through every step of test administration and scoring, as well as interpretation. The accompanying video tutorial gives users a helpful overview of DEMSS and guides them through two administrations of the entire tool with two different patients: one with mild CAS and one with more severe CAS.
Purchase the DEMSS manual and get everything you need The manual includes a keycode that unlocks access to the video tutorial and free unlimited DEMSS forms, downloadable online.
About the Author
Dr. Edythe Strand is Emeritus Speech Pathologist, Department of Neurology, Mayo Clinic, and Emeritus Professor, Mayo College of Medicine. Dr. Strand's research has focused on developmental, acquired and progressive apraxia of speech, and issues related to intelligibility and comprehensibility in degenerative dysarthria. She is an experienced clinician who has worked in the public schools, private practice, and hospital and clinic settings. Her primary clinical and research interests include assessment and treatment of children and adults with neurologic speech and language disorders. Dr. Strand's publications include many articles and book chapters related to motor speech disorders. She frequently gives lectures on the assessment and treatment of apraxia of speech in children and adults, management of dysarthria in degenerative neurologic disease, and neuroanatomy. She is known for developing a dynamic assessment tool (Dynamic Evaluation of Motor Speech Skills in Children--[DEMSS]). She has also developed a treatment program for children with severe childhood apraxia of speech (Dynamic Temporal and Tactile Cueing--or DTTC) for which research has demonstrated treatment efficacy. She is the co-author of the books: Management of Speech and Swallowing in Degenerative Disease; Clinical Management of Motor Speech Disorders in Children and Adults; and is co-editor of the book, Clinical Management of Motor Speech Disorders in Children. She is an ASHA fellow and has been awarded Honors of the Association of the American Speech-Language and Hearing Association, as well as Honors of the Academy of Neurologic Communication Disorders and Sciences. Rebecca McCauley, Ph.D., CCC-SLP, is a professor in Speech and Hearing Science at The Ohio State University. She is a Fellow of the American Speech, Language, and Hearing Association (ASHA) and former associate editor of American Journal of Speech-Language Pathology. She will be receiving Honors of ASHA at this year's annual convention in Boston. Her research and scholarly interests include issues in assessment and treatment of communication disorders in children, especially those with speech sound disorders, including childhood apraxia of speech. Rebecca is currently Editor with Alan Kamhi of the Communication and Language Intervention series for Brookes Publishing. With A. Lynn Williams and Sharynne McLeod, she has co-edited Interventions for Speech Sound Disorders in Children (Brookes Publishing, 2010), and is currently working with those colleagues on the second edition of that book. She has recently co-authored a paper on a taxonomy of phonological interventions with Elise Baker, A. Lynn Williams and Sharynne McLeod. In addition, Rebecca has authored one book on assessment, Assessment of Language Disorders in Children (2001) and has co-edited four other books on treatment for children's communication disorders.