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Pediatric Augmentative and Alternative Communication Part 2: Assessment

presented by John McCarthy

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Disclosure Statement:

Financial: John McCarthy receives compensation from MedBridge for this course. There is no financial interest beyond the production of this course.


Non-Financial: John McCarthy has no competing non-financial interests or relationships with regard to the content presented in this course.

Satisfactory completion requirements: All disciplines must complete learning assessments to be awarded credit, no minimum score required unless otherwise specified within the course.

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It can be difficult to know where to start and how to plan for the future when working with children with complex communication needs. Although the range of needs and complications can be overwhelming there is a manageable set of interventions that can be delivered to match a child’s current and future needs. The interventions cover strategies for children who are not yet communicating intentionally to those who are moving into reading and writing.

This is part two of a three part series covering Pediatric Augmentative and Alternative Communication. Be sure to watch:
Pediatric Augmentative and Alternative Communication Part 1: Introduction
Pediatric Augmentative and Alternative Communication Part 3: Intervention

Meet Your Instructor

John McCarthy, PhD, CCC-SLP

John McCarthy is an Associate Professor and the Associate Director of Communication Sciences and Disorders at Ohio University. He teaches courses on AAC, interprofessional education, preprofessional orientation, language development, and introduction to communication disorders. His research interests include developing better computer user interfaces and expanding the creative possibilities for children and young adults with complex…

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Chapters & Learning Objectives

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1. Assessment for Today, Assessment of Language Development Overview, and Pre-Intentional Communication

This chapter begins with an overview of overall goals for a Pediatric Augmentative and Alternative Communication Assessment. The structure of the assessment will be built with the goals as a foundation. Next, an overview for assessing language development is provided. The chapter then focuses on pre-intentional communication.

2. The Communication Matrix, The AAC Profile

This chapter provides an overview of the Communication Matrix and the AAC Profile. The chapter describes how the Communication Matrix can be used to assess beginning communicators and how the AAC profile can be used to assess children who are using some form of aided AAC. The AAC Profile allows for initial assessment and helps to guide intervention planning.

3. Other Assessment Tools, the CALC, and Expressive Language Assessment

This chapter reviews other useful assessment tools such as the CSBS-DP, Functional Communication Profile and the Clinical Assessment of Language Comprehension. The chapter also discusses assessment of expressive language. Expressive language is something to examine, even and especially for children who can’t talk. Several different ways to assess expressive language are discussed.

4. Final Assessment Considerations

This chapter will discuss the other key areas of assessment, including symbol size, layout, literacy, natural speech and participation.

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