Children develop intentional behaviors (goal-directed actions, such as reaching towards a favorite toy) before they develop intentional communication (e.g., actions directed towards a partner, such as reaching for a toy while alternating eye gaze between the toy and a partner).
It can be difficult to determine which behaviors are communicative, yet this is essential to setting goals and planning appropriate interventions. The Intentional Communication Log was developed at the Bridge School to help document indicators of intentional communicative acts for students who are beginning communicators. The worksheet can be filled out by different staff members who work with the student, then used as a discussion point for planning interventions and tracking progress. This tool is based on the following publications:
Carter, M., & Iacono, T. (2002). Professional Judgments of the Intentionality of Communicative Acts. Augmentative and Alternative Communication, 18, 177-191.
Siegel, E.B., & Cress, C.J. (2002). Overview of the emergence of early AAC behaviors: Progression from communicative to symbolic skills. In J. Reichle, D.R. Beukelman, & J.C. Light (Eds.), Exemplary practices for beginning communicators: Implications for AAC (pp. 25-57). Baltimore: Paul H. Brookes Publishing Co.