Communication Development Monitoring – Infants and Toddlers

Communication Development Monitoring Process

Simple Method of Reporting Communication Development Outcomes We weigh babies and measure children’s height regularly as a check to be sure that they are growing as they should. Similarly, a young child with hearing loss is especially vulnerable to becoming delayed in language development. Unless we check regularly, we won’t know how fast, or to what level a child’s communication skills have developed. This method is truly simplified and does not take the place of  in depth evaluation of language. It can be used to measure the same communication ‘benchmarks’ for large numbers of children to reflect their individual gains and, in aggregate, as a measure of the effectiveness of early intervention program services. The Communication Development Monitoring Tutorial provides the philosophy behind this process and clear instruction on how to perform biannual CDM measures.

Communication Development Monitoring Summary There are a number of different elements that comprise this monitoring process. This form provides a clear summary.

At the heart of communication development monitoring is tracking the number of words understood or expressed by children with hearing loss. The MacArthur Communication Development Inventory has been customized to include not only verbal expression, but language expression via sign language or cued speech. These checklists are to be completed by family members independently or with the assistance of the early intervention provider. Children’s use of words is then compared to norms based on normal hearing children. Each form with the various MacArthur Levels also includes a way to collect demographic and functional information that can be used by an early intervention program in aggregate form to compare children’s rate of development over time.

MacArthur Customized for CDM — Level I For children 8-13 months old and also for 14-18 months. Part I is a vocabulary checklist for receptive and expressive use of common words. Part II collects information on communicative gestures, games and routines, actions with objects, and pretenting to be a parent – all of which provide insights into cognitive development.

MacArthur Customized for CDM — Level IIA For age 19-24 months. Vocabulary checklist to identify expressive use of said or signed words.

MacArthur Customized for CDM — Level IIB For age 25-30 months. Vocabulary checklist to identify expressive use of said or signed words.

MacArthur Customized for CDM — Level III For age 31-36 months. Vocabulary checklist to identify receptive and expressive use of common words, use of 2-words, sentences and language.

Graphs of Typical Vocabulary Development – boys and girls  These graphs show how children with normal hearing increase in single word vocabulary use over time (MacArthur word lists). Example for boys below. Also provides graph for 30 – 36 months and same graphs for girls.

Boy vocab graph

The MacArthur Norms for Scoring CDM charts provide normative scoring information for scoring MacArthur Levels I, IIA, IIB, and III information.

Scoring Practice Exercise for CDM  Scoring is not difficult, but may be new to some individuals. This explanation and the following examples were developed to aid in accurate scoring of the CDM.

Vocabulary Checklist Scoring Example — 18 months

Vocabulary Checklist Scoring Example — 24 months

Vocabulary Checklist Scoring Example — 30 months

Vocabulary Checklist Scoring Example — transition age 3

Scored Graph Results for Practice Exercise

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