Methods of Assessing the Available Level of Symbolization in Communication in Children with Hearing and Sight and Multiple Disabilities



In this article, we describe a possible way of assessing the level of the means of communication in children with impaired sight and hearing in the structure of multiple developmental disorders. The method is designed for examination of children with complex and multiple disabilities. It is advisable to use a methodology for assessing the level of language development in children who do not enjoy the expanded verbal or sign language, especially in cases where the surrounding is difficult to assess what treatment and the extent to which the child understands. The proposed character level evaluation procedure, the child can understand, can be used for initial diagnosis, as well as for the dynamic tracking of language development in the learning process. This version of the method may be used with children who have a substantive vision. Addressing age: school-aged children. Stimulus material technique selected on the basis of the model of symbolic stairs (M. Skelly), according to which the first level of symbolization is the real object (the demonstration of an object becomes a permanent sign of the beginning of the corresponding event, such as a cap – a symbol of a walk), and the highest level of symbolization becomes concept language word. It includes 15 real objects, 5 items of clothing, 5 pieces of dishes and 5 educational supplies, pictures of these objects, realistic color images, as well as the outline of the image. In addition, the plates are attached to the printed names of the same things and pictures on their sign symbols. The procedure of conducting the survey and recording results are discribed. Evaluation protocol allows you to determine what level of symbolic notation of items most successful child acts and what is the maximum level of symbolization it is available. Examples of description and analysis of the results are presented.

General Information

Keywords: communication, symbolic ladder, children with multiple disabilities, deaf children, diagnostics communication skills

Journal rubric: Methods and Techniques


For citation: Khokhlova A.Y. Methods of Assessing the Available Level of Symbolization in Communication in Children with Hearing and Sight and Multiple Disabilities [Elektronnyi resurs]. Klinicheskaia i spetsial'naia psikhologiia = Clinical Psychology and Special Education, 2016. Vol. 5, no. 2, pp. 121–134. DOI: 10.17759/cpse.2016050209. (In Russ., аbstr. in Engl.)


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Information About the Authors

Alina Y. Khokhlova, PhD in Psychology, Associate Professor, Moscow State University of Psychology and Education, Psychologist, the Resource Center Supporting Deafblind and their Family Members “Yaseneva Polyana”, Moscow, Russia, ORCID:, e-mail:



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