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
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 communication needs. Experiences as a school-based SLP, a background in voice performance, and an interest in technology have been major influences in his career. Currently he is part of Ohio's Medicaid Technical Assistance and Policy Program (MEDTAPP) Healthcare Access Initiative (HCA) to improve interprofessional education outcomes with a focus on technology tools.
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.
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.
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.
This chapter will discuss the other key areas of assessment, including symbol size, layout, literacy, natural speech and participation.