SPICE vs. SPICE for Life: What’s the difference?
by Jessica Klein, MS, CCC-SLP
The Speech Perception Instructional Curriculum and Evaluation (SPICE) and SPICE for Life are widely-used and highly acclaimed auditory training curricula. Both are research-based tools designed to support professionals working with children to develop listening and spoken language skills. Several notable differences exist between the two that are important for professionals to recognize.
The SPICE supports the development of foundational auditory skills and targets:
- Detection of speech
- Suprasegmental perception
- Vowel and consonant perception
- Comprehension of connected speech
The SPICE for Life expands on these skills and focuses on real-life listening:
- Improving auditory memory
- Listening to music
- Listening in noisy settings
- Identifying environmental sounds
- Listening during conversation
- Localizing sounds
- Listening to voices
- Listening to technology
Although these curricula are quite different from each other, choosing which one to use with students isn’t always so clear. Below are answers to scenarios we often hear when contemplating the question, “Should I purchase the SPICE or SPICE for Life?”
- I just received a newly implanted 8-year-old student on my caseload. According to the age recommendations, I should use SPICE for Life. Is that correct?
Although the SPICE curriculum suggests that it be used with students ages 2-12, and the SPICE for Life recommends ages 5-12, these are rough guidelines. It’s best to base your decision on the individual student. One factor to consider is how long have they been using their device(s). Although this student is within the recommended SPICE for Life age group, he would need to start with SPICE in order to establish consistent foundational listening skills using his cochlear implant before moving on to the more challenging skills offered by SPICE for Life.
- I have a student who has not yet mastered every skill on SPICE, but I feel like he could do some parts of SPICE for Life. Can I start on SPICE for Life before all of the SPICE curriculum is mastered?
Yes, SPICE and SPICE for Life can be worked on in tandem, but when choosing skills to target it’s important to consider the child’s language level. For example, some of the skills addressed in the SPICE for Life require the student to be able to repeat a series of words, understand and label higher level vocabulary (ex: musical instruments, environmental sounds, emotions) and engage in conversation. As you make the decision on which to use, ensure that the skills you target (on either curricula) measure the child’s listening skills and not their language ability.
If you have questions about which curricula to purchase, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org. We’d love to help you!