Communication Matrix: A Clinical and Research Assessment Tool Targeting Children With Severe Communication DisordersBy Rowland, Charity; Fried-Oken, Melanie; Journal of Pediatric Rehabilitation Medicine: An Interdisciplinary Approach, Volume 3, Number 4, pages 319-329
Publication Date: 2010
Paper presents The Communication Matrix, an assessment instrument designed to evaluate the expressive communication skills of children with severe and multiple disabilities. The instrument accommodates any type of communicative behavior, including (1) forms of augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) such as picture systems, electronic devices, sign language, and three-dimensional systems; (2) pre-symbolic communication such as gestures, body movements, sounds, eye gaze, and facial expressions; and (3) typical forms of communication such as speech and writing. It covers 7 levels of communication observed during a longitudinal study of 9 typically developing infants who were assessed 3 times between the ages of 6 and 20 months. The 24 communication states, functions and intents included in the Matrix, and the order of presentation, were derived from this study. The Matrix is a direct observational tool rather than a test. The instrument, which is widely used to assess children with severe acquired and congenital disorders in community and school settings, is appropriate for both inpatient and outpatient pediatric rehabilitation. As of the publication date of the article, over 12,500 Matrix profiles on over 12,000 individuals had been completed online, with an average of 294 new profiles accumulating per week. Most of the individuals assessed are young children, including 32 percent between the ages of 0 and 5 years, 35 percent between 6 and 10 years, 16 percent between 11 and 15 years, and 17 percent above 15 years of age. To illustrate the sensitivity of the Matrix and its application to the pediatric rehabilitation population, the case description of a 2-year-old with severe orthopedic and vision impairments and dysarthria post Shaken Baby Syndrome is presented.
Published by: IOS Press (Website:http://www.iospress.nl)