Speech sound disorders in preschool children

correspondence between clinical diagnosis and teacher and parent report

Linda J. Harrison*, Sharynne McLeod, Lindy McAllister, Jane McCormack

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

5 Citations (Scopus)


This study sought to assess the level of correspondence between parent and teacher report of concern about young children’s speech and specialist assessment of speech sound disorders (SSD). A sample of 157 children aged 4–5 years was recruited in preschools and long day care centres in Victoria and New South Wales (NSW). SSD was assessed independently by: (1) clinical diagnosis by a speech-language pathologist using the Diagnostic Evaluation of Articulation and Phonology; (2) parent-reported concern using the Parent Evaluation of Developmental Status (PEDS); (3) teacher-reported concern using the PEDS. Agreement between parent identification of SSD and clinical assessment was high (86–90%). Agreement between teacher identification and clinical assessment was lower, and varied by state (Victoria 80%; NSW 63%). Differences in the accuracy of early childhood teachers’ identification of SSD are considered in relation to early childhood policies regarding the provision of speech-language pathology services in preschool settings.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)35-48
Number of pages14
JournalAustralian Journal of Learning Difficulties
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2 Jan 2017
Externally publishedYes

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