Development of the Children's Communication Checklist (CCC): a method for assessing qualitative aspects of communicative impairment in children.
The Children's Communication Checklist (CCC) was developed to assess aspects of communicative impairment that are not adequately evaluated by contemporary standardised language tests. These are predominantly pragmatic abnormalities seen in social communication, although other qualitative aspects of speech and language were also included. Some items covering social relationships and restricted interests were incorporated, so that the relationship between pragmatic difficulties and other characteristics of pervasive developmental disorders could be explored. Checklist ratings were obtained for 76 children aged 7 to 9 years, all of whom had received special education for language impairment. In 71 cases, 2 raters (usually a teacher and speech-language therapist) independently completed the checklist, making it possible to establish inter-rater reliability. From an initial pool of 93 items, 70 items, grouped into 9 scales, were retained. Five of the subscales were concerned with pragmatic aspects of communication. A composite pragmatic impairment scale formed from these subscales had inter-rater reliability and internal consistency of around .80. This composite discriminated between children with a school diagnosis of semantic-pragmatic disorder and those with other types of specific language impairment (SLI). The majority of children with pragmatic language impairments did not have any evidence of restricted interests or significant difficulties in the domains of social relationships.