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Assessing Skills and Treatment Progress in Basic Communicators of All Ages The Basic Social and Communication Behavior Scales BSCBS Phase I

Award Information
Agency: Department of Health and Human Services
Branch: National Institutes of Health
Contract: 1R41DC016568-01
Agency Tracking Number: R41DC016568
Amount: $111,015.00
Phase: Phase I
Program: STTR
Solicitation Topic Code: NIDCD
Solicitation Number: PA16-303
Solicitation Year: 2016
Award Year: 2017
Award Start Date (Proposal Award Date): 2017-07-17
Award End Date (Contract End Date): 2019-06-30
Small Business Information
Towson, MD 21204-4920
United States
DUNS: 013843347
HUBZone Owned: No
Woman Owned: No
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: No
Principal Investigator
 (402) 472-4431
Business Contact
Phone: (410) 337-9580
Research Institution
LINCOLN, NE 68503-2427
United States

 Nonprofit College or University

Project Summary Abstract
Effective communication intervention depends on reliable tools for identifying communication concerns and
tracking changes in skills Established tools for detecting and tracking skills in early intentional communicators
i e directing a behavior such as reaching toward an adult to convey a message involve communication
temptations and assessing a wide variety of child behaviors in response to those dynamic temptations While
these tools have been normed for typically developing children and used for intervention tracking with
intentional communicators they can only be used to detect the absence of such skills in pre intentional
communicators and do not reflect changes in essential skills that support the development of intentional
communication There are no available normed assessments that provide dynamic and comprehensive data
on pre intentional communication and reflect evidence based procedures to assess skills and track treatment
progress in children and adults older than months If we can assess comprehensive skills that promote
intentional communication in children and adults we can intervene in skills that are essential foundations of
all other communication and reduce the likelihood of secondary behavioral or adaptive impairments that affect
communication and life skills The plan for this project is to develop a comprehensive skill progressive
sensitive dynamic and modality independent assessment to detect and track communication skills in older
children and adults who are basic pre intentional communicators Basic Social and Communication
Behavior Scales BSCBS Initial testing showed that the pilot BSCBS adapted from the PI s successful
development of the ISCBS assessment for infants mo is an effective tool to measure changes in pre
intentional communication after intervention for children with ASD and or DD Consistent assessment of pre
intentional communication in older children and adults could justify focused intervention strategies to address
these essential skills for older children and adults who have an expected prognosis for long term
communication impairment and avoid denial of services to individuals who are presumed to lack supposed
prerequisites of communication We will develop and test proof of concept for the BSCBS to assess and track
pre intentional communication in basic communicators of all ages over months for children and adults with
severe developmental or acquired disabilities test reliability and validity for communication assessment and
use pre post assessments to track treatment progress using the BSCBS to address these specific aims
Develop BSCBS to assess pre intentional communication skills for children and adults beyond
months of age develop BSCBS components clusters and a composite of domains that show
skill progression by developmental age in children and adults with disabilities comparable to
ISCBS score patterns establish the efficacy of the BSCBS at tracking changes in pre intentional
communication skills following intervention Project Narrative
If children and adults with severe communication disabilities can be assessed for basic communication skills
using comprehensive normed assessments then we can plan and track basic communication intervention for
pre intentional communicators of all ages using evidence based tools targeted at the skills that are most
needed and indicative of functional improvement in communication in daily living environments There is
currently no normed and dynamic assessment tool focused on detecting and tracking comprehensive
communication skills for children and adults who are basic communicators at developmental ages above
months and the development of such a measure would meet a critical health need for children adults and
families and the doctors clinicians and service providers who seek this clinically essential information If we
can intervene specifically enough in the skills that are associated with improvement toward intentional
communication development at any age we can mitigate effects of primary impairments and reduce the
likelihood of denial of services to children and adults who are still basic communicators because they are
presumed to lack prerequisite skills necessary for successful acquisition or rehabilitation of critical intentional
communication behaviors that affect communication and other life skills

* Information listed above is at the time of submission. *

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