Dynamic assessment of the alphabetic principle: Measuring phonological awareness in children with complex communication needs who do not speak

Dynamic assessment of the alphabetic principle: Measuring phonological awareness in children with complex communication needs who do not speak

First Author: R. Michael Barker -- University of South Florida
Additional authors/chairs: 
Mindy Bridges; Kathryn Saunders
Keywords: Autism Spectrum Disorder, Developmental Disabilities, Dynamic assessment, Intellectual Disability, Assessment
Abstract / Summary: 

Purpose: This presentation evaluates the validity of a non-speech dynamic assessment of the alphabetic principle (DAAP) in measuring phonological awareness (PA) in children who have complex communication needs (CCN) and do not speak. It was hypothesized that children with CCN who had better phonological awareness would also score higher on the DAAP.

Method: The DAAP was administered to 10 children with CCN (ages 3.6 to 12.2 years old); all used augmentative and alternative communication. All participants took the following assessments: the DAAP onset and rime subtests, receptive assessment of letter-sound knowledge (LSK), the Phonological and Print Awareness Scale (PPA; Williams, 2014; a non-speech, standardized assessment with 6 subscales), and modified administration of word identification and word attack, and the PPVT-4.

Results: Associations were estimated using bivariate correlations with bootstrapped confidence intervals. There were strong and significant correlations between DAAP onset and rime and the following measures: LSK, rhyme knowledge, print knowledge, sound-symbol correspondence, PA, PPA total raw score, word identification, and the PPVT-4. Most accounted for greater than 50% of the variance in performance.

Conclusions: These results replicate and extend our previous findings with adults who had mild to moderate intellectual disability and with typically developing preschool and school-aged children. Consequently, the DAAP may fill a very important need for an assessment of PA for children who cannot respond to typical assessments that require speech.