The Arizona Articulation and Phonology Scale, Fourth Revision, or Arizona 4, evaluates articulatory and phonological skills in people ages 18 months to 21 years. It is comprised of three tests: Word Articulation, Sentence Articulation, and Phonology.
The Word Articulation and Sentence Articulation exams should be administered to the subject and can be used by themselves or together to measure the proficiency of the subject’s articulation in both single-word or connected speech.
The Phonology exam evaluates phonological impairment and is coded by an examiner based on the information the administrator gathered during the Word Articulation exam.
The assessment as a whole is intended to provide information about the speech sound abilities of an individual.
There are a wide variety of applications for the Arizona 4, whether it be in schools, hospitals, clinics, early intervention programs, or private practices.
Understanding the Level of Articulatory Ability: To understand the articulatory ability of an individual, you can use the Arizona 4 to measure development as compared to a typically developing group of peers. You can also get a better understanding of the overall speech intelligibility in both single-word and connected speech, and how well an individual can be heard and understood by others.
Comparing Articulatory Ability: By using all three exams in conjunction with one another, you can compare an individual’s ability to articulate speech sounds in single words or connected speech such as full sentences.
Determining the Extent of Phonological Impairment: Sometimes phonological impairment, or how well an individual can hear and differentiate the sounds of speech, will have a drastic effect on articulation. The Arizona 4 can help identify any patterns that display a correlation between the two.
Facilitate Identification of Concerns: The Arizona 4 can help evaluate a child’s speech sound development and determine whether they demonstrate articulatory or phonological impairments that may indicate a speech sound disorder. Testing can evaluate the need for treatment early on, as early as 18 months, allowing enough time for the impairment to be corrected.
Identifying or Prioritizing Speech Targets: The Arizona 4 can help identify and prioritize the specific needs of an individual’s intervention plan. By analyzing the strengths and deficits identified in the exams, a more efficient treatment plan can be devised.
Monitoring Improvement: Test-retest scenarios of the Arizona 4 can show improvement over time and identify areas where more improvements need to be made. Gauging an individual against themselves is often the best way to measure progress.
Providing Frame of Reference for Speech Development: Identifying an individual’s therapy needs and progress can come from the results of the Arizona 4 and being able to read intelligibility values, percentage of improvement scores, and severity ranges.
Evaluating Consistency: Consistency in misarticulated sounds can give a better idea of the impact of speech sound deficits in everyday speed. The Arizona 4 can identify areas where further assessment and intervention are needed.
Describing and Understanding the Speech of Adults: The Arizona 4 can help examiners understand the speech of individuals of all ages based on results that are not age-normed. Intelligibility values, percentage of improvement scores, and percentage of occurrence information can all provide insight into the speech of adults.
The versatility of the Arizona 4 assessment adds to its reliability and usefulness in many situations when evaluating the articulation and phonology skills of an individual is needed to determine courses of treatment or therapies.