Taking Baseline Data and Progress Monitoring for Articulation

Is it a true baseline if the responses are imitative?

Taking baseline data for my articulation students has been a huge dilemma for me. Sometimes I will just use the data from the previous school year; other times I will use the S-CAT (Secord Contextual Articulation Tests by Wayne A Secord and Richard E. Shine)- Contextual Probes of Articulation Competence. In using this, however, there are a couple of things I'm not real crazy about.  1) there are no pictures so the responses are imitative, and 2) some of the words are not in a child's vocabulary, especially in the cluster analysis section. My question has always been, "Can I get a true baseline if the child is not spontaneously producing the words or sentences?"

Are baselines required in IEP Goals?

A colleague recently told me that she heard in a presentation that some states are requiring that baseline data be included within the goals. I Googled everything I could think of to include the key words and came up with very little. What I did find:
  • Wrights Law: The IEP team must collect baseline data that describes your child's present levels of performance and serves as the starting point for developing goals.
  • Wisconsin Dept of Public Instruction: In order for an annual goal to be measurable, the goal must include a baseline measure to use as a starting point for measuring progress and a level of attainment to identify the desired end point. (Sample IEP Forms Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)-Updated 3/25/19)
  • “You cannot know how far you have come if you don’t know where you started.” Arlene B. Crandall Regional Special Education Training Specialist RSE-TASC
    • In addition, Ms. Crandall lists the lack of data as a common IEP development pitfall
So, it would appear that no, baselines are not required to be included in IEP Goals. I contacted ASHA for more information and was referred to IDEA, Section 1414 (d)

(d) Individualized education programs

    (1) Definitions

  • In this chapter:
    • (A) Individualized education program

        (i) In general

      • The term “individualized education program” or “IEP” means a written statement for each child with a disability that is developed, reviewed, and revised in accordance with this section and that includes—
        • (I) a statement of the child’s present levels of academic achievement and functional performance, including—
          • (aa) how the child’s disability affects the child’s involvement and progress in the general education curriculum;
          • (bb) for preschool children, as appropriate, how the disability affects the child’s participation in appropriate activities; and
          • (cc) for children with disabilities who take alternate assessments aligned to alternate achievement standards, a description of benchmarks or short-term objectives;
  • (II) a statement of measurable annual goals, including academic and functional goals, designed to—
    • (aa) meet the child’s needs that result from the child’s disability to enable the child to be involved in and make progress in the general education curriculum; and
    • (bb) meet each of the child’s other educational needs that result from the child’s disability;
  • (III) a description of how the child’s progress toward meeting the annual goals described in subclause (II) will be measured and when periodic reports on the progress the child is making toward meeting the annual goals (such as through the use of quarterly or other periodic reports, concurrent with the issuance of report cards) will be provided;

I definitely think it is best practice to include baseline data in your present level and develop a goal from there. 
Check with your school district to determine how your goal and present level should be written.

I know I need baseline data...now what?

Here are questions that now need to be answered: 
  1. Where am I going to get my baseline data from? 
  2. How am I going to progress monitor? 
  3. Can a test be considered “baseline data”? 
  4. How can you indicate progress if you don’t have baseline data and use different materials to progress monitor?
Here are my answers:
  1. First, check with your school district and see if there is something you should use. If not, there are a number of products on TpT. Or, if you have the S-CAT, you could always use that.
  2. Whatever you use for the baseline should be used to progress monitor. Otherwise, you're comparing apples to oranges. Clinical Management of Speech Sound Disorders (edited by Carol Koch), states that The same stimuli selected for baseline procedures are typically not utilized during subsequent treatment sessions. Rather, they are reserved for progress monitoring and are considered nontreated, or untreated, target words. (Chapter 8, page 185)
  3. Good question, but I would say "no". If you are using testing as the baseline data, shouldn’t part of the goal be written as, “___ will decrease the error of /r/ from 7 to 3”?  If you use a test as baseline data, that should be used for progress monitoring, which can’t be done since a test is considered invalid if administered within a year of the last administration.
  4. Well, you can't. (See the answer for #2.)

Exactly what am I looking for?

There are some products on Teachers Pay Teachers that address baseline data, but I wanted something that was tailored to what I want and how I want to use it. I wanted something that I could put on my iPad so I wouldn't have to flip through pages of pictures to find the target, but I also wanted the option to print. Other wants:
  • Pictures for eliciting spontaneous responses
  • The option to isolate the target in a specific position or have 1 page with mixed positions
  • Data that doesn't take up the whole therapy session
  • A mixture of CV, VC combinations
  • No duplication of the target in the word
  • Space on the record form to transcribe the response if needed
  • Space on the record form to record responses for the whole year
Baseline Data and Progress Monitoring for Articulation

It took me quite a while but I came up with a product that is just what I was looking for. It took me about a year to decide exactly what I wanted and then a few months to actually make it. While I don't know all of the stimuli in the Weber Articulation Cards/Fun Decks (Super Duper), I did my best to make sure I didn't duplicate the words. If I duplicated any, I will take those cards out of the decks so the student will not be progress monitored on "treated" words. 

This is a comprehensive baseline data and progress monitoring system that includes all sounds. By using the pictures digitally, I save paper and ink (and space). 
Baseline Data and Progress Monitoring for Articulation
The spaces in the recording sheet have plenty of space for transcriptions and notes. There are 4 columns: 1 for baseline data and 3 more for end-of-period reporting.
Baseline Data and Progress Monitoring for Articulation
With 10 stimulus pictures per position, collecting data won't take the whole session. In fact, it won't take any time at all! Suggestions for using the system are included in the "Read this first" pdf. The goal is for the student to spontaneously say the word. For sentences, the student makes up a sentence. 
Baseline Data and Progress Monitoring for Articulation

Whether you use my system or another one, use baseline data to write more functional goals for your students. Progress monitor using the same system to show progress.

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