Skill Base

The SKILL BASE courses provide content to help Early Start providers support development within specific developmental domains and for children with specific disability conditions.

Facilitating Communication Development

Topics covered in this course include: developmental milestones of communication, assessment in the communication domain, indicators of common disabilities related to communication development, service planning to address needs in communication development, and evidence-based intervention strategies.

Course Objectives

Upon completion of this course, participants will be able to:

  • Describe terms, components, and the sequence of communication development in young children.
  • Identify indicators and characteristics of common disability conditions related to communication development.
  • Discuss tools and practices appropriate for evaluation and assessment of communication development.
  • Develop functional, relationship-based outcomes based on the needs identified through an assessment of communication development.
  • Describe appropriate, evidence-based intervention practices that may be used to address developmental needs in the communication domain.

Course Content Week-by-Week

Week 1-2: Development of Communication Skills

  • Define common terms in the area of communication development;
  • Define the essential components of a child’s communication system; and
  • Describe typical communication development in infants and toddlers.

Week 3-4: Red Flags, Common Disabilities and Referrals

  • Recognize behaviors and characteristics that indicate a need for assessment.
  • Describe the characteristics of the most frequently occurring communication disorders.
  • Describe the impact of specific developmental disabilities on communication.

Week 5-6: Essentials of Assessment of Communication Development

  • Identify multiple tools and practices to assess development and progress in the area of communication.
  • Restate findings of a communication evaluation or assessment report to a child’s family.
  • Describe how communication assessment can be conducted using typical family routines and activities.

Week 7-8: Outcomes, Services and Coordination

  • Identify a family’s concerns, priorities, and resources for their child’s communication development.
  • Identify possible functional, family-focused outcomes for a child with a communication disorder.
  • Explore service and support options based on the needs of the child and family.

Week 9-10: Strategies to Work with Children and Their Families

  • Describe relationship-based intervention strategies to support families in supporting the communication development of their young children.
  • Identify resources and strategies for promoting the communication development of young children.
  • Identify intervention strategies for integration into natural environments to address the communication disorders of young children.
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