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Profiles of Early Expressive Phonological Skills - PEEPS (TM) Assessment

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Phonological development is linked with a child’s later success with language and literacy, but tests of early phonological skills are often not sensitive enough for the youngest children. That’s why clinicians need PEEPS™, a comprehensive assessment of early phonological skills developed specifically for toddlers 18–36 months. Created by leading experts in early phonological development and speech sound disorders, PEEPS helps speech-language pathologists detect speech and language delays early, so children can receive the intervention and support they need to be effective communicators on track for academic achievement.


  • Developmentally appropriate. Unlike similar tools, PEEPS is specially developed to screen young children and uses elicitation techniques and vocabulary words that are appropriate for this population.
  • In-depth assessment of an overlooked skill set. Early phonological skills are often not assessed, even though they affect early lexical development. PEEPS is the tool clinicians need to analyze the key components of phonological development, including phonetic inventory, syllable structure, accuracy of consonant production, and error patterns.
  • Accurately identifies delays. Because most phonological measures aren’t designed for the young age range, young children may be overidentified as struggling with phonological skills—or a wait-and-see approach is taken with these children, which can delay starting early intervention. PEEPS helps accurately evaluate children struggling with phonological skills, so they can receive support as early as possible.
  • Quick, convenient, and flexible. PEEPS gives clinicians a comprehensive picture of early phonological skills in less than 20 minutes. The kit includes the full PEEPS assessment (60 words) and a shorter PEEPS screener (20 words) that helps determine if in-depth testing with the full PEEPS is warranted.

How PEEPS Works

To conduct either the full PEEPS or the screener, the clinician will:

  • Present a stimulus to the child to elicit each word on the PEEPS word list. The clinician may point to a small toy, a body part or article of clothing, or an illustration in the included board book, A Book of Things.
  • Transcribe the child’s speech production onto the test form.
  • Complete the scoring and summary page to create a profile of the child’s phonological development.
  • Use this profile to help determine if the child is developing within expected limits or displaying delays or red flags that warrant intervention.

PEEPS is easy to administer. The Examiner’s Manual guides clinicians step by step through the process, and includes access to a helpful video in which the authors clearly demonstrate how to deliver PEEPS.

The PEEPS Kit includes:

About the Video

About the Authors

About the Contributor

Foreword Sharynne McLeod, Ph.D.




Chapter 1: Introduction to PEEPS

Rationale: Why Do We Need a Phonological Test for Toddlers?

Background and Development of PEEPS

What Is a Profile?

Phonological Development in Typically Developing Children

Expectations for the Phonological System of Children 18–36 Months


Chapter 2: Description of PEEPS

Components Included in the PEEPS Test Kit

Other Items Needed to Administer PEEPS


Chapter 3: Administering PEEPS and Completing the Analysis

With Nancy J. Scherer

Preparing to Administer PEEPS

Obtaining a Sample and Transcribing Data

Completing Your Analysis on the Test Form

Clinical Considerations


Appendix 3.1 PEEPS Word List—Semantic Categories

Appendix 3.2 Examples of Toys Used to Elicit PEEPS Words

Appendix 3.3 Completed PEEPS Form for Hudson

Appendix 3.4 Completed PEEPS Form for Yasmin

Chapter 4: Analyzing and Interpreting Data

Interpreting the Analysis Results

Determining Next Steps


Chapter 5: PEEPS in Practice: Interpreting Results Through Three Case Studies

Case Study: Nick, Age 22 Months

Case Study: Jane, Age 32 Months

Case Study: Joey, Age 24 Months

Age-Level Profiles


Appendix 5.1 Nick’s Speech Productions—Transcript and Analysis

Appendix 5.2 Jane’s Speech Productions—Transcript and Analysis

Appendix 5.3 Joey’s Speech Productions—Transcript and Analysis

Chapter 6: Summary of PEEPS Data

The PEEPS Data Set—Summary and Results


Appendix A Age of Acquisition of PEEPS Words

Appendix B Summaries of PEEPS Data for Children Ages 18–36 months – Individual


Appendix C Neurological and Developmental Foundations of Speech Acquisition




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