What to Include in a Language Sample, Pt. II
to Include in a Language Sample, Pt. I," I expressed how important I feel a language sample is to complete an
assessment for a verbal child or adult on the autism spectrum. I told you what
to look for during a language sample and gave you an example of how I utilize a
puzzle to elicit conversation with young children. When taking a language
sample from an adult, I use a book or postcards that are of high interest to
Here is my
second and favorite part of a Kathie Language Sample. (I told
you it would make you bark.)
These are my two little
dogs. Mr. Higbee is on top, and Diamond is on the bottom.
Preparation - before I
present the picture
- Ask the child if
they have pets at home (some do - some do not).
- Ask the child what
kind(s) of pet(s) he or she has.
- Ask for the name(s) of
the pet or pets (or a neighbor's pet, grandma's pet or an animal they've seen).
- Ask about the color and
size of the animal.
- Ask what the pet
does, eats, etc.
Sequence of my dog
- First, I tell the
child I have something special to show them: my doggies.
- I then silently lay the
picture on the table and watch what the child does.
- Some pick the
- Some just look at
- Few children with
ASD spontaneously ask a question about my dogs.
- I prompt questions and answers
- "Is there anything
you'd like to know about my dogs?" (Keep in mind I have already asked the child
questions about his or her pets or a friend's or neighbor's pet - an animal they
- "Would you like to
ask me their names?"
- "How can I tell who
is outside or inside?"
- "Who is going to go
to sleep?" (Recently one little girl surprised me and asked
if the pictures were taken at my house.)
- I use negative
practice to get the child to defend him/herself, think and communicate.
- "Mr. Higbee thinks he's a lion. What do you
- "Diamond wants to fly. Can she?"
- This should also
provoke shared laughter and fun
- Have the child bring pictures
of his or her own pets. If the child does not have a pet, let them select one from a picture so he or she can pretend to have one.
- Make a bulletin board,
scrapbook page or picture page with their pet and yours.
- Implement all of the wonderful
strategies that were used during the assessment by turning them into
- Be sure to analyze the
child's strengths and weaknesses.
- This activity can be utilized for your entire caseload.
►Send some pictures of YOUR pets to me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
compile them for all of us and make a collage that we can all use for assessment, therapy,
and a bulletin
identify your picture in the subject line on the email as "Autism
Spectrum Blog Picture."
"Speech pathologists make good things