Early Echoic Skills Assessment and Program Planner (EESA)

Most humans learn to speak quite easily, with no special training. For those who don’t, the task falls to others, who may find it beyond daunting to figure out where to start. But, in fact, there’s no reason that we should expect ourselves to know how to do this. Speech teaching and jump-starting early vocalizations are not intuitive. The Early Echoic Skills Assessment and Program Planner (EESA) is aimed at making this process a little easier.

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Early Echoic Skills Assessment and Program Planner (EESA)

What are “echoic skills” and why should we assess them?

Echoic skills, the ability to repeat a speech model, play a major role in early speech learning (regardless of the age of a learner).

So, for early speech learners who may not be developing as quickly as expected, it’s helpful to evaluate their ability to echo what they hear. We can find out which critical parts are missing (like correct vowels) or where the breakdown is (like omitting whole syllables or parts of words). This can give us a starting point for how to arrange the right kind of speech-learning activities.

What is in the EESA and how do I use it?

The Early Echoic Skills Assessment and Program Planner consists of the EESA Guide, and its companion, the EESA Protocol. Throughout both the EESA Guide and the EESA Protocol, the focus is to make speech assessment and program planning:

EESA Guide

The EESA Guide is a combination manual of:

In addition, Appendix A has answers for Frequently Asked Questions and Appendix B has printable forms and supplementary materials for use in developing and maintaining a speech-language program. Appendix C has information for translations of EESA into non-English languages.

EESA Protocol

The EESA Protocol contains the EESA-R echoic speech assessment and a Work Packet for program planning. The Protocol’s tasks were designed as an assessment and “start-up kit” for those who are responsible for teaching learners to achieve useable speech in meaningful contexts. The Protocol serves as a launch point for echoic speech assessment and program planning, but users are encouraged to seek additional input from speech-language professionals.