Application of the Communication Complexity Scale in Peer and Adult Assessment Contexts for Preschoolers With Autism Spectrum Disorders Purpose The purpose of this study was to measure changes in communication of preschoolers with autism using the Communication Complexity Scale (CCS; Brady et al., 2012) and to examine the utility of the CCS in measuring pretreatment and posttreatment changes within peer and adult assessment contexts. Method The ... Research Article
Newly Published
Research Article  |   December 06, 2018
Application of the Communication Complexity Scale in Peer and Adult Assessment Contexts for Preschoolers With Autism Spectrum Disorders
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Kathy S. Thiemann-Bourque
    Juniper Gardens Children's Project, The University of Kansas, Kansas City
  • Nancy Brady
    Department of Speech-Language-Hearing: Sciences & Disorders, The University of Kansas, Lawrence
  • Lesa Hoffman
    Schiefelbusch Institute for Life Span Studies, The University of Kansas, Lawrence
  • Disclosure: The authors have declared that no competing interests existed at the time of publication.
    Disclosure: The authors have declared that no competing interests existed at the time of publication. ×
  • Correspondence to Kathy S. Thiemann-Bourque: thiemann@ku.edu
  • Editor-in-Chief: Julie Barkmeier-Kraemer
    Editor-in-Chief: Julie Barkmeier-Kraemer×
  • Editor: Erinn Finke
    Editor: Erinn Finke×
Article Information
Special Populations / Autism Spectrum / School-Based Settings / Newly Published / Research Article
Research Article   |   December 06, 2018
Application of the Communication Complexity Scale in Peer and Adult Assessment Contexts for Preschoolers With Autism Spectrum Disorders
American Journal of Speech-Language Pathology, Newly Published. doi:10.1044/2018_AJSLP-18-0054
History: Received March 20, 2018 , Revised June 10, 2018 , Accepted July 2, 2018
 
American Journal of Speech-Language Pathology, Newly Published. doi:10.1044/2018_AJSLP-18-0054
History: Received March 20, 2018; Revised June 10, 2018; Accepted July 2, 2018

Purpose The purpose of this study was to measure changes in communication of preschoolers with autism using the Communication Complexity Scale (CCS; Brady et al., 2012) and to examine the utility of the CCS in measuring pretreatment and posttreatment changes within peer and adult assessment contexts.

Method The CCS was used to code preassessment and postassessment for 23 children with autism randomly assigned to a treatment that incorporated a peer-mediated approach and a speech-generating device and 22 assigned to a business-as-usual condition with untrained peers. Children were assessed in 2 structured 30-min contexts—1 with an adult examiner and 1 with a peer partner coached by an adult.

Results Children in both groups showed significant changes in communication complexity CCS scores from pretreatment to posttreatment in the adult and peer contexts. At both occasions, CCS scores were higher with adult partners yet showed greater improvements over time with peer partners.

Conclusions Results showed that the CCS was sensitive to change over time but did not discriminate changes in communication complexity associated with maturation versus treatment. It did show some differences based on interactions with peer versus adult partners. Outcomes provide preliminary support for using this scale to measure communication changes in different contexts.

Supplemental Material https://doi.org/10.23641/asha.7408856

Acknowledgments
This research was funded by National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders Grants R01DC012530 and R01HD076903. We thank the families, children, and preschool staff for their participation and ongoing support in assisting with this study. We gratefully acknowledge the project coordinator Sarah Feldmiller and the research assistant Stacy Johner for their time and effort and all the student research assistants who assisted in collecting data over the course of the project.
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