Category Archives: Language Development

Communication Matrix: Free Online Communcation Assessment

Here is a free online communication assessment appropriate for individuals of all ages who are at the earliest stages of communication. The Communication Matrix is a service of Design to Learn Projects at Oregon Health & Science University.

Communication Matrix: Free Online Communcation Assessment
What is the Communication Matrix?

The Communication Matrix is an assessment tool designed to pinpoint exactly how a child is currently communicating and to provide a framework for determining logical communication goals. It was first published in 1990 and was revised in 1996 by Dr. Charity Rowland of Oregon Health & Science University. It was designed primarily for speech-language pathologists and educators to use to document the communication skills of children who have severe or multiple disabilities, including children with sensory, motor and cognitive impairments. The original version for professionals is still available in print for purchase. It uses a concise format that is designed for rapid administration by persons familiar with the assessment.

This online version was originally designed especially for parents. It is also available for purchase in a printed version. This newer version is designed to be “user friendly”. The results are summarized on a one-page Profile and a Communication Skills List. The Profile shows at a glance what level of communication behaviors your child is using and what kinds of messages he or she expresses. The Communication Skills List shows exactly what behaviors the child uses to express each message.

Click here for more information and to begin online assessment.

Babies Learn to Talk at an Amazing Rate

Here is a one page handout by the FIRST WORDS Project delineating language and communication milestones from 9 to 24 months of age in 3 month intervals. It was designed it to be given to parents and childcare and healthcare providers.

Babies Learn to Talk at an Amazing RateClick on the image to download

What is FIRST WORDS Project? It is a model early identification and intervention program based in the Department of Communication Disorders at Florida State University. This is one project worth emulating.

Nonetheless, going through their website would already give us a myriad of information on why early identification of communication delays is so important.

A child’s level of communication development may be the best indicator of a developmental delay.


Ear Infections and Language Development

The US National Institute on Early Childhood Development and Education (ECI) has a booklet that will help us understand ear infections and middle ear fluid, how hearing and language learning may be affected, and how we can support children’s language learning.

Ear Infections and Language Development bookletClick on the image to download booklet

Otitis media, an inflammation of the middle ear (behind the eardrum), is one of the most common illnesses of childhood.

What are signs of Otitis Media?

  • Child pulls on ear
  • Child says ear hurts
  • Drainage from ear
  • Fever (acute otitis media)
  • Irritability
  • Poor sleep

A child may have all, some, or none of these symptoms and still have otitis media. Otitis media frequently occurs when a child has a cold. When a child has otitis media with effusion, most of the time there are no symptoms. Ear infections are best detected by your child’s health care provider. Contact your health care provider if you think your child may be sick.

Source: ECI