Classifying Typically-Developing Toddlers Using the Communication Function Classification System (CFCS)

Hopkin, Ashley
The CFCS consists of five levels of communication performance with familiar and unfamiliar partners, from Level I (most functional) to Level V (least functional). In pilot data of 32 children, ages 24 to 60 months, communication performances of children older than 31 months were generally classified as CFCS Level I. However, the relationship between CFCS levels and age needs further study. The purpose of the study is to determine the age range and outcomes of typically-developing toddlers for each CFCS level. Two researchers observed 37 toddlers, between 12 and 42 months of age, interacting with familiar and unfamiliar communication partners for 30 minutes and then individually noted CFCS classification. Familiar communication partners (parents and childcare center staff) were given the option to rate the child's CFCS level. If both CFCS researchers did not classify a child's communication as a CFCS Level I, the researchers re-observed the child's communication. A correlation between CFCS level and age was observed. Out of the 37 toddlers analyzed, almost half of the children communicated at CFCS Level I. The youngest child to be classified as a CFCS Level 1 was 29 months of age. This research expanded the number of children observed by including a younger sample. Most typically-developing toddlers were classified as functional communicators (CFCS Level I) by 33 months of age.
Journal Title
Journal ISSN
Volume Title
University of Wyoming Libraries