The screening process should be fun and a special one-to-one time – it is not meant to be like a formal test. Therefore, there is no time limit to the testing and it is acceptable to do different bits on different days.
For children younger than three years, you may need to administer items at different times of the day rather than doing them all at once. This will help children maintain attention and will give you a better idea of what they are capable.
If a child is finding it hard to concentrate, take a break and come back to it later.
Material needed for testing
Little Book of Score Sheets and Rules
WellComm Picture Book
Any toys or objects that you might require
General arrangements for testing
For each item, it is essential to use the instructions in The Little Book of Score Sheets and Rules, rather than just looking at the Score Sheet for what to do.
Gather together any equipment you may require – either real objects or toys (that can be easily found in any early years setting) and the WellComm Picture Book.
If possible, find a quiet corner to carry out any direct screening of items. If screening in the child’s own home, try to minimise any background noise.
When giving instructions to the child, do not give any visual or verbal clues, such as looking at or pointing to any of the objects or pictures you are asking questions about, nodding with your head, or stressing individual words.
Make sure the child waits until you have finished saying what you want them to do before they pick up or point to any objects or pictures.
Try not to give any specific feedback regarding whether an item has been achieved or not. Keep praise general regardless of the child’s response (e.g., ‘good listening’ or ‘good try’). Specific praise can change subsequent responses on items requiring more than one trial. Also, it can be demoralising when it is clear the child has not achieved an item.