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Communication and Symbolic Behavior Scales Developmental Profile (CSBS DP)

The Communication and Symbolic Behavior Scales Developmental Profile (CSBS DP; Wetherby & Prizant, 2001) is a norm-referenced screening and evaluation tool that helps determine the communicative competence (use of eye gaze, gestures, sounds, words, understanding, and play) of children with a functional communication age between 6 and 24 months (chronological age from about 6 months to 6 years). Any professional trained to assess developmentally young children is approved to administer this assessment tool.

Overview

The CSBS DP may be used as a screening tool, a norm-referenced assessment, or a progress indicator. It measures the following seven language predictors in young children: Emotion and Eye Gaze, Gestures, Communication, Sounds, Words, Understanding, and Object Use.

The three main components of the CSBS DP are the Infant- Toddler Checklist, Caregiver Questionnaire, and Behavior Sample. The Infant-Toddler Checklist is available as a free download from the publisher’s website. The checklist may be based on parent report or observation by a qualified professional. It is a one-page document that addresses three main composite areas: social, speech, and symbolic. A total score is obtained and compared to a “cutoff score” that yields a descriptor of “concern” or “no concern.” The publisher sells scoring software for the checklist.

This checklist is designed to be used only to decide if further information or evaluation is needed. It should be completed approximately every three months for children between 6 and 24 months, because new communication skills emerge each month.

The Caregiver Questionnaire is a four-page document that caregivers can fill out independently. It should be completed before the child is brought in for the Behavior Sample and takes approximately 15 to 25 minutes to complete. The Behavior Sample includes suggestions for eliciting spontaneous behaviors from the child and offers varying degrees of structure from the caregiver or administrator. It should be administered and scored at the same time as the Caregiver Questionnaire; it takes about 30 minutes to complete. The CSBS DP includes a toy kit for the examiner to use if desired.

Summary

Author (yr) Age Range (yrs) Method of Administration/Format Approx. Time to Administer Subscales
Communication and Symbolic Behavior Scales Developmental Profile (CSBS DP) Wetherby & Prizant (2001) 0.5-6

Individually administered, norm-referenced screening and evaluation tool that helps determine the communicative competence (use of eye gaze, gestures, sounds, words, understanding, and play) in children

Includes one-page caregiver questionnaire, four-page infant toddler checklist, and a behavior sample observation

Yields standardized scores, percentile ranks, norm- referenced indicators of need for full developmental assessment

Infant-Toddler Checklist: 5– 10 min. Caregiver Questionnaire: 15–25 min. Observation/ Behavior Sample: 30 min.

Measures seven language predictors in young children: Emotion and Eye Gaze, Communication, Gestures, Sounds, Words, Understanding, and Object Use

Availability: Brookes Publishing, http://bit.ly/1SU65JF

Research

Author (yr) Sample Size Topic(s) Addressed Outcome
Communication and Symbolic Behavior Scales Developmental Profile (CSBS DP) Allen, Cleary, Goldstein, Kublin, & Wetherby (2002) 1,003 To determine the accuracy of the CSBS DP tools as a level 1 and 2 screening tool and an early intervention tool for autism

Concurrent validity of checklist, CQ, and BS:

Pearson correlation coefficients: Checklist and BS r = 0.59-0.67, CQ and BS r = 0.65-0.71;

Regression analysis: children aged 22–24 mos., three composites explained 51% of variance in receptive language based on the checklist, 45% based on CQ, 61% based on BS; three composites explained 30% of variance in expressive language on checklist, 55% on CQ, 62% on BS;

Predictive validity: partial correlations – Checklist r = 0.47-0.71, CQ r = 0.55-0.75, BS r = 0.59-0.78
Author (yr) Sample Size Topic(s) Addressed Outcome
Pierce et. al (2011) 10,479 To determine the positive predictive value of the CSBS, when used for the one-year Well Baby Checkup.

Pediatricians screened infants at their one-year checkup using the CSBS.184 infants who failed the screener were evaluated and tracked. 32 infants received a provisional or final diagnosis of ASD, 56 of learning disability, 9 of developmental disability, and 36 of “other.” Five infants who initially tested positive for ASD no longer met criteria at follow-up. The remainder of the sample was false positive results. Positive predictive value was estimated to be .75.

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