Validity of the Communication Function Classification System for use with preschool children with communication disorders
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AIM: To evaluate construct and predictive validity of the Communication Function Classification System (CFCS) for use with preschool children with a range of speech and language disorders. METHOD: Seventy-seven preschool children with speech and language disorders (50 males, 27 females; mean 2y 7mo, standard deviation [SD] 1y) participated in this cohort study. Preschool children had speech and language, language-only, or speech-only disorders. Together with parent input, speech-language pathologists (SLPs) completed the CFCS at time 1. Parents and SLPs then independently completed a validated change-detecting functional communication outcome measure, the Focus on the outcomes of Communication Under Six (FOCUS), three times: at assessment (time 1), at the start of treatment (time 2), and at the end of treatment (time 3). RESULTS: There was a significant negative correlation between CFCS classifications and FOCUS scores at all three measurement points for the ratings by both parents and SLPs (correlations ranged from -0.60 to -0.76). As expected, no correlations between CFCS classifications and FOCUS change scores were statistically significant. INTERPRETATION: This study provides evidence of construct and predictive validity of the CFCS, demonstrating its value as a discriminative tool for use with preschool children with a range of speech and language disorders.