Differential Screening Test for Processing(DSTP)

Differential Screening Test for Processing (DSTP)



· Ages: 6-12

· Grades: 1-7

· Testing Time: 35 minutes


Warning: CHOKING HAZARD - Small parts, not for children under 3 yrs.


The DSTP is the only screening test that differentiates among the various levels of auditory and language processing and identifies areas for referral or further evaluation. The subtests are designed to evaluate critical skills in three main levels of the neurological continuum of processing: acoustic, acoustic-linguistic, and linguistic. Students receive a statistically sound pass/fail score for each subtest to determine if and when additional testing is needed.



Processing, or attaching meaning to an auditory task, is viewed on a continuum of neurological involvement. The three levels of processing (acoustic, acoustic-linguistic, and linguistic) are fairly discrete, yet all work within an integrated control neurologically.   The continuum is not linear, but instead, goes back-and-forth between the three types of processing based on the communication task.



Level One – Acoustic Subtests

These skills represent perception of primary acoustic characteristics of an auditory signal. The recognition of acoustic features is the foundation for subsequent interpretation of auditorily presented information.

·  Dichotic Digits - Binaural integration skills are sampled. Intact binaural integration contributes to a student's ability to process multiple incoming test items. Four numbers are presented to both ears simultaneously, two to each ear, while wearing headphones.

·  Temporal Patterning - Right-hemisphere-based auditory pattern recognition skills are examined. Three-tone sequences composed of high- and low-pitched tones are presented via headphones. The narrator asks the student to imitate the three-tone pattern or to say which tones are high and low.

·  Auditory Discrimination - Left-hemisphere-based acoustic skills are sampled. The ability to analyse differences among speech sounds is fundamental to auditory language processing. The narrator asks the student to discriminate and repeat nonsense syllables presented within a background of steady-state noise. This taxes the neurology, resulting in information regarding the efficiency of the central auditory system.


Level Two – Acoustic-Linguistic Subtests

These skills represent the transition from a pure acoustic representation of an auditory signal to a linguistic representation of an auditory test. The student needs to begin applying recognition of acoustic features to the phonemic code system of language.

·  Phonemic Manipulation - Sample three types of skills involved in analysing acoustic signals within linguistic parameters of language. The narrator asks the student to identify the number of discrete sounds within a word, blend discrete phonemes into a word, and change or modify specific discrete phonemes.

·  Phonic Manipulation - Examine pre-literacy aspects of processing using visual representation for sounds. The narrator presents words to the student and instructs her to spell the words she hears with letter tiles that represent the sounds in the words.


Level Three – Linguistic Subtests

These skills represent the ability to attach meaning to auditory stimuli. A student needs to analyse, interpret, and organise more subtle aspects of an auditory test within parameters of language.

·  Antonyms - The narrator presents a term to the student and instructs her to give the opposite. Test items represent a developmental continuum of vocabulary.

·  Prosodic Interpretation - Probe the ability to "read between the lines" and accurately interpret linguistic messages based on the auditory prosodic features of delivery. The student hears a sentence and the narrator asks her to discriminate the sincerity of the message.

·  Language Organization - Examine the ability to retrieve language ideas, organise thoughts, and recognize salient aspects of a message. In Task 1, the narrator gives the student clues and asks her to use that information to generate a response. In Task 2, the student looks at a picture and generates clues that are focused and pertinent.


Examiner Qualifications

The test should be administered by a trained professional familiar with the differential aspects of auditory and language skills involved neurologically in processing tasks. Paraprofessionals or individuals unfamiliar with the neurology of the auditory and language systems will not be able to interpret results to make appropriate decisions regarding follow-up assessment.


Test Procedure

·  The DSTP is administered via directions presented by the narrator on a CD.

·  Both the text examiner and the student wear headphones for the first three subtests. A Y-cord adapter is provided to allow both the examiner and the student to hear the instructions provided by the narrator on the CD.

·  Demonstration items are provided for each subtest.

·  Each task is presented in its entirety to every student.


Test Scoring

Each item on the test is scored as a 1 or 0.

Calculate the total number correct for each subtest.

Use the chart on the front of the test form to determine pass/fail for each subtest.


Extra Helps

The Discussion of Performance in the Examiner's Manual includes:

·  ways test performance may relate to a student's academic performance

·  when to make a referral to an audiologist for comprehensive central auditory processing evaluation

·  references


COMPLETE DSTP KIT INCLUDES: Examiner’s Manual, 20 Test Forms, 2 Headphones, Y-Cord Adapter, CD-ROM, 12 Letter Tiles, 8 Full-Colour Picture Cards. Copyright © 2006


04030...DSTP Complete Kit

04031...DSTP Forms (20)


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