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Communication matrix as assessment tool for children with special needs

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The knowledge of child development is an important cue for professional planning and implementation of speech and language therapy as well as education. How the child will progress and how successful will he be depends on his abilities and the competences of those that surround him.
The basic aim of the research is to describe the communication skills through the Communication matrix and according to this suggest the use of alternative and augmentative communication (AAC).
The sample included 10 children with special needs. For the purpose of this survey the Communication matrix as an instrument translated and adapted into Slovene language was used. The communication skills were assessed by parents, preschool teachers, and speech and language pathologists. With this strategy we gained insight into the actual state of the communication capabilities of each child and attempt to establish coherence between different assessors.
The results showed significant differences between the assessors. Parents generally overestimate the ability of their child, because they wish to describe their child as similar as his/her peers are.:
Parents are the ones who best know their child, preschool teachers spend with him/her most of the time in kindergartens, and speech and language therapists can offer both the most successful method of communication. The objectivity of the assessment of communication skills of a child is crucial for his development.


Key words: children with special needs, communication matrix, AAC

Author(s):

DAMJANA KOGOVSEK    
University of Ljubljana, Faculty of Education
Slovenia

MIHAELA VOVK    
Slovenia

INGRID ZOLGAR    
University of Ljubljana, Faculty of Education
Slovenia

JERNEJA NOVSAK BRCE    
University of Ljubljana, Faculty of Education
Slovenia

 

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