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Wellcomm Early Years: The complete speech and language toolkit

This toolkit is a well-known, norm-referenced assessment tool that’s currently used in many areas of the UK with deaf children and their families as well as hearing children.

It can be used with languages other than English as it’s acceptable practice to translate the toolkit up to Section 3 (Eastern European) or Section 5 (Asian languages) of the tests. There’s no specific mention of the level up to which Welsh translation could be used with the only reference made to using a native speaker. 

The toolkit uses a traffic light system that identifies children requiring immediate intervention, as well as those who show potential language difficulties. The system bands children by placing them into one of three categories:

  • Red: Consider referral to a specialist service for further advice/assessment
  • Amber: Extra support and intervention required
  • Green: No intervention currently required

Age range

6 months to 6 years (there is also a primary version)

Who can use it?

Early years practitioners, SENCOs, teaching assistants, speech and language therapists and Teachers of the Deaf.

What does it consist of?

The toolkit consists of a handbook, the Little Book of Scores and Rules, the Big Book of Ideas, a bag of appropriate toys, and a picture book. This is all supported by helpful short videos and an online Wellcomm wizard which helps calculate scores and produce reports.

Pros

  • Simple and quick to use - within 20 minutes.
  • Covers a good age range and starts very early from 6 months.
  • Involves families in the assessment, has little or no retest effect and can be used by a wide variety of practitioners without special training.
  • Particularly useful for families is the linked ‘Big Book of Ideas’ which has 150 play-based activities to support identified needs to be used at home. There are also good supportive videos available online showing how to use the toolkit. 

Cons

  • There are some concerns about the scoring being very linked to expected progression - not allowing for any special or additional needs. This could be disheartening for families always having scores in the 'red'.
  • It’s not appropriate for those deaf children using sign language.
  • Complete early years set is expensive.

Is there a cost?

Yes.

Where can I access it?

You can access the assessment online here