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Dynamic assessment of communication disorders (Bamford et al., 2022)

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posted on 2022-07-08, 17:00 authored by Claire King Bamford, Sarah Masso, Elise Baker, Kirrie J. Ballard

Purpose: The aim of this systematic scoping review was to identify the elements that exist in dynamic assessments of communication in children, synthesize and arrange them into a framework, and investigate how these elements have been used in published literature.

Method: Seven databases were searched using clusters of keywords themed around “dynamic assessment,” “communication,” and “children.” Papers were reviewed against eligibility criteria by two independent reviewers at both title/abstract and full-text screening stages. Data charting included information about study design and the methodological characteristics of identified dynamic assessments.

Results: Sixty-five papers met inclusion criteria. Dynamic assessments were used in a range of areas of communication and used diverse methodologies. A total of 23 elements were identified and formulated into a Dynamic Assessment Framework, arranged into eight categories within two broad domains. A majority of assessments utilized prompting or cueing as instruction (54%), provided a predetermined amount of instruction (55%), measured child performance (63%), and were prescripted (60%).

Conclusions: Dynamic assessments are complex. Utilizing a dynamic assessment in clinical practice or research requires a deep understanding of the purpose, clinical population, implementation, and data collection and measurement requirements. From our review of research involving dynamic assessments of communication in children, there is a need for greater transparency of reporting of the elements comprising dynamic assessments. The Dynamic Assessment Framework presented in this review article offers researchers and clinicians a way to have transparent discussions and extend our collective insights into the value of dynamic assessment of children’s communication skills.

Supplemental Material S1. Characteristics of included assessments.

Bamford, C. K. Masso, S., Baker, E., & Ballard, K. J. (2022). Dynamic assessment for children with communication disorders: A systematic scoping review and framework. American Journal of Speech-Language Pathology. Advance online publication.


Sarah Masso would like to acknowledge funding from the Australian Research Council, Discovery Early Career Research Award (DE200101078).