Study Guide

Field 084: Speech-Language Pathology Assistant 
Sample Selected-Response Questions

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General Test Directions

This test consists of two sections: 1) a section with selected-response questions and 2) a constructed-response section.

Each question in the first section is a selected-response question with four answer choices. Read each question and answer choice carefully and choose the  start uppercase ONE end uppercase  best answer.

Try to answer all questions. Even if you are unsure of an answer, it is better to guess than not to answer a question at all. You will  start uppercase NOT end uppercase  be penalized for guessing.

The second section of this test consists of one constructed-response assignment. You will be asked to provide a written response to the assignment. Directions for completing your written response to the constructed-response assignment appear immediately before the assignment.

You may  start uppercase NOT end uppercase  use any type of calculator or reference materials during the test session.

Sample Selected-Response Questions

Competency 0001 
Understand typical speech production (articulation, phonology, voice, and fluency), language (semantics, syntax, morphology, pragmatics) and feeding/swallowing development, and the effects of various disabilities on speech and language development.

1. A fifth-grade student has learned to expressively generate the phrase "I want videos" using picture icons. To facilitate language learning, all of the student's request attempts were reinforced by allowing the student to watch videos. In this example, which of the following language acquisition approaches is best illustrated?

  1. linguistic
  2. interactionist
  3. behavioral
  4. information processing

Correct Response: C. In this example, positive reinforcement—or the opportunity to watch a video—is used to encourage the student's communication. When a desired behavior, such as communicating, is rewarded with a contingent event, the likelihood of establishing a new behavior increases. The foundational premise of behavioral intervention approaches is to increase desired behaviors or decrease undesired behaviors. Response C is the correct answer because the student's communication or response was encouraged using behavioral intervention principles.

Competency 0002 
Understand communication disorders involving speech (articulation, phonology, voice, and fluency) and feeding/swallowing.

2. A student with apraxia of speech is most likely to demonstrate limitations with which of the following motor speech skills?

  1. producing speech sounds in isolation
  2. coordinating speech sounds within connected speech
  3. oral motor range of movement and strength
  4. prolonging phonation for longer periods of time

Correct Response: B. Apraxia of speech is motor speech disorder characterized by inconsistent production of consonants and vowels in syllables and words, imprecise and disrupted coarticulation between sounds and syllables, and atypical prosody. When assessing a student with apraxia of speech, fine motor coordination difficulties may be evident during sequential and alternating movement tasks and/or in sound, syllable, word, and connected speech production. Response B is the correct answer because limitations in coordinating speech sounds in connected speech differentiates apraxia of speech from other speech sound disorders, such as a phonological impairment.

Competency 0003 
Understand communication disorders involving receptive and expressive language (i.e., listening, reading, speaking, writing, and manual modalities) and social communication.

3. A fourth-grade student with autism spectrum disorder ( A S D ) has difficulty with transitions, such as coming in from recess and leaving at the end of the school day. Which of the following strategies would most likely support the student in transitioning from one activity to the next?

  1. rehearsing classroom expectations and behavior
  2. giving alternative choices to non-preferred activities
  3. providing a verbal warning to signal a change
  4. utilizing a visual schedule with words and photos

Correct Response: D. Many students with autism spectrum disorder have difficulties transitioning to and from activities given their rigid adherence to schedules, ritualized patterns of behavior, or resistance to change due to immature coping skills. Visual schedules support students' ability to be aware of and predict upcoming events/activities, which in turn decreases maladaptive behaviors resulting from frustration. Response D is the correct answer because implementing a visual schedule is the most effective strategy for decreasing difficulties with transitions.

Competency 0004 
Understand communication disorders involving hearing loss.

4. Damage to which of the following anatomical structures would most likely result in a sensorineural hearing loss?

  1. cochlea
  2. eustachian tube
  3. pinna
  4. tympanic membrane

Correct Response: A. Hearing loss is categorized as conductive, sensorineural, or mixed depending on the location of damage. A sensorineural hearing loss results from damage to the inner ear or the auditory nerve. Response A is the correct answer because the cochlea is part of the inner ear.

Competency 0005 
Understand ways to improve students' speech production (articulation, phonology, voice, and fluency) and feeding/swallowing.

5. The primary purpose of accommodations in an Individualized Education Program ( I E P ) is to provide the student with:

  1. parallel instruction to peers.
  2. modifications to lesson objectives.
  3. equal access to learning.
  4. focused instruction in specified areas.

Correct Response: C. Students with disabilities require accommodations to their educational plan to increase their success while at school and to facilitate participation in the general education curriculum. Response C is the correct answer because accommodations promote a student's access to the same learning opportunities as their peers.

Competency 0006 
Understand ways to improve students' receptive and expressive language.

6. A tenth-grade student who uses an augmentative and alternative communication ( A A C ) speech generating device has not generalized language skills learned in the classroom and intervention sessions. Which of the following intervention approaches would most likely promote language generalization and functional communication?

  1. indirect language stimulation
  2. community-based instruction
  3. incidental teaching
  4. discrete trial training

Correct Response: B. Targeting students' learning needs during activities within their natural environment will encourage generalization of learned language skills beyond the structured school setting. A community-based approach uses incidental teaching opportunities to elicit and reinforce students' language responses within a meaningful context. Response B is the correct answer because the student's language generalization and functional communication will increase when target responses are elicited and reinforced within the student's community or natural environment.

Competency 0007 
Understand ways to improve students' pragmatic skills and social communication.

7. Use the Individualized Education Program ( I E P ) objectives for a second-grade student below to answer the question that follows.

  1. The student will self-identify the emotions sad, mad, happy, okay, and frustrated using pictured icons with 80 percent accuracy.
  2. The student will identify in peers the emotions sad, mad, happy, okay, and frustrated using pictured icons with 60 percent accuracy.

Based on these objectives, the student is most likely to require intervention for which of the following social communication skills?

  1. reciprocal exchanges
  2. joint attention
  3. conflict resolution
  4. recognizing nonverbal cues

Correct Response: D. Pragmatic language skills include the ability to interpret and effectively use nonverbal cues, such as eye gaze, facial expression, and gestures. Response D is the correct answer because the Individualized Education Program (I E P) objectives directly address the ability to identify emotions that are often conveyed using nonverbal cues.

Competency 0008 
Understand ways to improve the communication skills of students with hearing loss.

8. Which of the following strategies would most likely improve speech sound production for students that are hearing impaired?

  1. encouraging over-articulation within connected speech
  2. enhancing auditory awareness using acoustic highlighting
  3. discriminating and identifying target phonemes in isolation and in words
  4. practicing speech sounds in high-frequency words

Correct Response: B. Acoustic highlighting is an auditory verbal therapy technique that uses a number of strategies, such as increased pitch, emphasis, and decreased rate, to improve spoken communication audibility for students with hearing loss. Response B is the correct answer because, in addition to audition, acoustic highlighting improves students' speech sound production by enhancing auditory awareness or salience of target sounds.

Competency 0009 
Understand collaborative practice and the professional responsibilities of a speech-language pathology assistant in the school setting.

9. Following direct supervision, a speech-language pathology assistant (SLPA) is given written feedback each week by her supervisor. The SLPA is having difficulty interpreting the feedback and is therefore unable to implement recommendations. Which of the following steps should the SLPA take first to improve communication with her supervisor?

  1. scheduling a meeting to review feedback in person
  2. discussing issues with the building principal
  3. contacting the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association to file a Code of Ethics violation
  4. requesting a new supervisor through the administration

Correct Response: A. According to the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA) Code of Ethics, supervising speech-language pathologists (SLPs) are to ensure that all services, including those provided by the speech-language pathology assistant (SLPA), meet practice standards and are administered competently. The SLP is obligated to provide feedback that is accessible to the SLPA to ensure that services are administered competently. Response A is the correct answer because it best supports the ASHA Code of Ethics in addition to promoting professional collegiality between the supervising SLP and SLPA.

Competency 0010 
Understand legal and ethical issues in speech language pathology within the school setting.

10. A supervising speech-language pathologist (SLP) has asked the speech-language pathology assistant (SLPA) to prepare materials for several evaluations. According to the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA):

  1. SLPs can delegate activities to SLPAs that are within the SLPAs' scope of practice.
  2. SLPAs are responsible for implementing best practice standards during evaluations.
  3. SLPA participation in any part of the assessment is prohibited.
  4. SLPs are required to provide supervision only when asked for guidance by the SLPA.

Correct Response: A. The American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA) Speech-Language Pathology Assistant (SLPA) Scope of Practice defines the service delivery responsibilities of the SLPA. Response A is the correct answer because speech-language pathologists can delegate activities that are defined by ASHA's SLPA Scope of Practice.