The Bridge School
Communicative Competence

MacArthur-Bates Communicative Development Inventories

These inventories are checklists. Parents or caregivers use them to describe the commonly used phrases, words, and gestures their child understands or says. Based on normative data for typically developing children ages 8 to 30 months, the inventories are also useful for older children to describe their early-developing words and gestures. There are two inventories:

Words and Gestures

Parents check off the phrases, words, and gestures their child understands. They also how their child "says" or expresses words using a vocalization, gesture, or sign. Bridge School staff often ask follow-up questions to learn more about how a parent knows what a child understands in specific situations.

Words and Sentences

Vocabulary on this checklist is categorized, such as "food and drink" and "body parts." Parents check off and describe how their child "says" or expresses any words using a vocalization, gesture, or sign. Bridge School staff often ask parents to mark all the words they think their child understands and then discuss with them how they know. For some of our younger children, the staff may choose to use only the Words and Gestures checklist.

References and Links

Fenson, L., et al. (2006). The MacArthur Communicative Development Inventories User’s Guide and Technical Manual. 2nd Edition. Baltimore: Paul H. Brookes Publishing Co.

http://mb-cdi.stanford.edu/

http://www.brookespublishing.com/resource-center/screening-and-assessment/cdi/