LENA Developmental Snapshot™

Parent-administered language assessment for a child’s first three years.

The Developmental Snapshot is an easy-to-use, parent-completed measurement of infants’ and toddlers’ progress in acquiring language skills. Conventional assessments are generally long, dependent on professional evaluation, and difficult to scale for community-wide initiatives. Furthermore, many are not sensitive to monthly changes in language development and/or are screening instruments that don’t provide standard scores or developmental age estimates.

Snapshot’s tight focus on receptive and expressive language skills and its ease of implementation make it the ideal assessment to measure large-scale, relatively short parent-directed programs such as LENA Start and LENA Home, as well as major research projects.

Parents instinctively track milestones in other areas, such as physical growth and skills, but are often unaware of subtle language development markers, especially those that precede a baby’s first word. By focusing on well-established milestones associated with receptive and expressive language, Snapshot provides a uniquely valuable source of data, and also heightens parents’ awareness of language behaviors so they can encourage them.

Mobile-device access to Snapshot administration and reports puts this powerful tool in the hands of today’s parents, and cuts down dramatically on paperwork and possibilities of transcription errors. Both Snapshot and its reports are available in English and Spanish.

What makes Snapshot unique?

  • Parent completion substantially reduces time and costs associated with professional evaluation, scoring, and interpretation
  • Sensitive enough to gauge progress in language skills as frequently as once per month
  • Educates parents and caregivers with respect to language development in their infants and toddlers
  • Promotes continued observation and awareness of language-related behaviors

Snapshot is statistically validated and reliable.

  • Snapshot is norm-referenced to a sample of typically developing participants from LENA’s Natural Language Study.
  • Development ages generated by Snapshot have been correlated to a range of standardized language and cognitive assessment instruments (see table at left). The average correlation was .93. All correlations were significant at the p<0.01 level (two-tailed).
  • Reliability was tested over a two-year period, with test/retest correlation averaging .93.
  • Snapshot has proven highly useful to help identify potential risk for language delays, as a progress monitoring tool, and to measure effectiveness of interventions both short- and long-term.

Snapshot can be used to measure child outcomes at scale.

The Developmental Snapshot is widely used to assess the effectiveness of programs for parents and is a built-in evaluation measure in LENA Start, a program designed to accelerate children's language development. Parents fill out the assessment at the beginning, middle, and end of the program, then every six months afterwards until their child turns three. The longitudinal data show that children continue to demonstrate elevated language skills even 24 months after the program, providing evidence that the literacy intervention works.The data also show that children are gaining language skills nearly twice as fast as their peers.

Online portal improves access and streamlines administration.

As frequently as once a month, a unique hyperlink containing an encrypted organization code and custom ID number can be embedded in any email or text message communications sent to parents, who then complete the Snapshot online.

  • A secure online portal simplifies administration and data management
  • URLs fit seamlessly into existing communication channels and allow complete control of the timing and sequence of communication
  • Snapshot Reports provide data on metrics like standard score, percentile, and Developmental Age and can be shared with families at user option
  • Reports and assessment are available in English and Spanish

Read the Technical Report