Communication Inventory for Emerging Language Learners

Determining appropriate instructional priorities in the area of communication is one of the most important aspects of an educational program for a student with ASD. The Communication Inventory for Emerging Language Learners will assist educators in determining needs related to expanding the communication abilities of a student with ASD. It is designed to determine priority areas in an effective and efficient manner so instruction may begin.

With Whom Should the Inventory be Used?

The Communication Inventory for Emerging Language Learners is to be used with students who are considered to be beginning or emerging communicators. This can include those who are non-verbal, have limited verbal communication, have limited communication through an alternative modality, those who demonstrate rudimentary skills and need to expand expressive and/or receptive communication.

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Who Should Implement the Inventory?

It is recommended the Communication Inventory for Emerging Language Learners be implemented by the student's IEP team. It is important to note at least someone on the team must have a basic understanding of the purpose and functions of communication. This team approach is required for completion of the Inventory to ensure accuracy and input from individuals who may see the student in different settings. It is important to note the team will be reviewing existing data and using prior knowledge of the student to complete the Inventory. Should further information be needed, the team will need to obtain consent from the parent/guardian prior to completing any assessments.

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When Should the Inventory be Used?

The Communication Inventory for Emerging Language Learners does not require the collection of new data, it can be completed informally and at any time. However, it is not designed to replace formal language and/or communication evaluations but rather is an organizational tool of knowledge the team already possesses about the student. It is not intended to be used for diagnostic purposes or to determine student eligibility for special education or related services. The Inventory is to be used throughout a student's educational career to guide communication programming. For some students, further information may need to be gathered through an evaluation that may include formal or informal assessment measures, including curriculum-based assessments, interviews, and/or data collection to develop appropriate IEP goals related to communication. Gathering new data to determine IEP goals is an evaluation and requires parent permission.

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What is Reviewed in the Inventory?

The Communication Inventory for Emerging Language is designed to review functional communication skills. The Communication Inventory for Emerging Language begins with early skills and moves towards more complex communication. The skills included outline a progression of skills as a student expands communication. For example, skills such as requesting and following directions are critical early skills and contribute to the independence and success of the student in the school and other environments.

The skills included in the Communication Inventory for Emerging Language were based on the following resources:

  • Kleiman, L. I. (2003). The Functional Communication Profile – Revised: Assessing Communication Effectiveness in Clients with Developmental Delays, LinguiSystems, Inc.: East Moline, IL.
  • Mattes, L. J. (2006). Functional Language Assessment and Intervention Sourcebook, Academic Communication Associates: Oceanside, CA.

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For more information on teaching communication, please visit our Communication Resources page.