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Comprehensive Assessment of Spoken Language (CASL)
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Supplemental: Mitochondrial Disease (Mito) and Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI)
Short Description of Instrument
The Comprehensive Assessment of Spoken Language (CASL) provides an oral language assessment for individuals ages 3 through 21. The battery includes 15 tests to  measure language processing skills (comprehension, expression and retrieval) in four language structure categories (Lexical/Semantic, Syntactic, Superlinguistic, and Pragmatic. Each test has been classified by the authors as either Core or Supplementary; the core tests provide a global language composite and the supplementary tests provide additional information and index scores. A verbal or non- verbal response is required; however, reading or writing ability is not needed to complete this measure.
The test is individually administered. The core battery takes 30-45 minutes.
Strengths/Weaknesses: Subtests of the CASL can be administered individually in  order to obtain assessment of abilities in very specific language domains. The CASL appears to be a particularly useful instrument in assessing pragmatic, inferential and nonliteral language skills, domains that are not typically assessed in other language batteries. In a sample of children with autism spectrum diagnoses, performance on the Pragmatic Judgment subtest correlated moderately with parent reported communication skills on the Vineland Adaptive Behavior Scale, while Inferences subtest correlated with parent reported Socialization skills suggesting good concurrent validity (Reichow et al, 2008). The test has also been used longitudinally to differentate language phenotypes in boys with Fragile X, Fragile X with ASD, and Downs Syndrome vs. typically developing controls, with each group showing different patterns in syntax and pragmatic language performance (Martin et al. 2013).
Specific to Mitochondrial Disease:
Advantages:Limitations: The test has not been specifically utilized in a mitochondrial group. The large age range and broad range of skills assessed may allow for differentiation of more subtle language differences in this group. The presence of subtests assessing nonliteral, abstract and pragmatic language are particularly of interest given the higher prevalence of autism spectrum disorders in individuals with mitochondrial disorders.
Age-based and grade-based standard scores are provided with mean = 100 and standard deviation = 15. Grade and test-age equivalents, percentiles, normal curve equivalents (NCEs), and stanines are also given.
Carrow-Woolfolk, E. (1999). Comprehensive Assessment of Spoken Language. American Guidance Service, Inc: Circle Pines, MN.
Marton, G.E., Losh, M., Estigarribia, B., Sideris, J., and Roberts, J., Longituteinal profiles of expressive vocabulary, syntax and pragmatic language in boys with fragile X syndrome and Down Syndrome. International Jourlan of Langauge Communication Disorders, 48(4): 432-443
Reichow, B., Salamack, S., Paul, R., Volkmar, F.R., and Klin, A. (2008) Pragmatic assessment in Autism Spectrum Disorders: A comparison of a standard measure with parent report. Communication Disorders Quarterly 29(3): 169-173.
Taylor, H., Swartwout, M., Yeates, K., Walz, N., Stancin, T., and Wade, S. (2008). Traumatic brain injury in young children: postacute effects on cognitive and school readiness skills. J Int Neuropsychol Soc 14(5), 734-745.
Turkstra, L., Williams, W., Tonks, J., and Frampton, I. (2008). Measuring social cognition in adolescents: Implications for students with TBI returning to school. NeuroRehabilitation 23(6), 501-509.
PsychCorp/Pearson/Pearson Education, Inc. Comprehensive Assessment of Spoken Language. Retrieved on July 10, 2012, from Comprehensive Assessment of Spoken Language
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