Contrasts for Auditory and Speech Training (CAST)

Children with hearing-impairment and children with normal hearing learn to recognize speech sounds and identify words as they contrast pairs of stimuli with progressively similar acoustic features.

Ages: 3-12
Grades: PreK-7

This program is for children with:

  • cochlear implants
  • hearing loss and hearing aids
  • weakness in auditory discrimination
  • disorders of speech sound awareness

CAST uses a bottom-up approach in which the parts of the speech signal (e.g., suprasegmental characteristics and vowel and consonant features) are highlighted and contrasted to improve speech recognition ability. Pairs of stimuli with grossly different acoustic characteristics are introduced and practiced before those with finer acoustic distinctions.

The 30-page manual includes:

  • CAST pretest
  • guidelines and procedures
  • training hierarchy
  • cueing techniques
  • criterion levels

There are 150 double-sided picture/stimulus cards. The front and back of each card has two illustrations that contrast the target acoustic characteristics. There are 28 pretest cards to help determine the need for auditory training and the level at which to begin listening practice. The remaining cards contrast:

  • presence and absence of speech
  • long versus short speech sound productions
  • continuous versus interrrupted speech sound productions
  • words with one, two, and three syllables
  • phonemically dissimilar words (e.g., bowl/cup, camel/giraffe)
  • wide and narrow vowel minimal pair words (e.g., heat/hat, top/tap)
  • consonant manner minimal pair words (e.g., kick/chick, saw/jaw)
  • consonant voicing minimal pair words (e.g., sip/zip, fan/van)
  • consonant place minimal pair words (e.g., feet/seat, gate/date)

COMPLETE KIT INCLUDES: 30-page manual; 150, 3" x 8" double-sided, coated picture cards; 9 divider cards; pretest; sturdy box. (2003)


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