Social Language Development Test–Adolescent: Normative Update (SLDT-A:NU)
Authors: Linda Bowers, MA, CCC-SLP / Rosemary Hulsingh, MA, CCC-SLP / Carolyn LoGiudice, MA, CCC-SLP
The Social Language Development Test–Adolescent: Normative Update (SLDT-A: NU) assesses language-based social skills. Specifically, it measures students’ ability to make inferences, and interpret and respond to social interaction. Performance on the test differentiates typically developing students from those with autism spectrum disorder.
- The norms have been updated to reflect the demographics of the 2016 U.S. Census.
- The normative sample (N = 868) is stratified by age relative to geographic region, gender, race, and ethnicity.
- New standard score metric for subtests and composites (M = 10, SD = 3; M = 100, SD = 15).
- All-new item analysis and item bias studies provide convincing evidence of content-description validity.
- All-new reliability and validity studies were prepared, including diagnostic accuracy analyses, which are considered the most rigorous techniques for establishing validity today. These analyses involve the computation of sensitivity and specificity indexes and the receiving operating characteristic/area under curve (ROC/AUC) statistic.
- The audio files for the Interpreting Ironic Statements subtest are available for use or download online.
Administration and Scoring
The test has five subtests (Making Inferences, Interpreting Social Language, Problem Solving, Social Interpretation, and Interpreting Ironic Statements) that yield scaled scores. A composite score, called the Social Language Development Index, represents overall performance on the subtests. The Examiner’s Manual discusses the test’s theoretical and research-based foundation, item development, standardization, administration and scoring procedures, normative tables, and guidelines for using and interpreting the test’s results. Reliability and validity studies were conducted with students with typical language abilities and students who had previously been diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder.
The average coefficient alpha ranges between .76 and .86 for the subtests and is .95 for the composite. New validity studies demonstrate the test’s ability to differentiate students with autism spectrum disorder from typically developing students. The results demonstrate that a Social Language Development Index cutoff score of 90 resulted in a sensitivity of .71, a specificity of .96, and a ROC/AUC of .90.