Dynamic Assessment for Children With Communication Disorders: A Systematic Scoping Review and Framework

Claire King Bamford, Sarah Masso, Elise Baker, Kirrie J. Ballard

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


Purpose: The aim of this systematic scoping review was to identify the elements that exist in dynamic assessments of communication in children, synthe-size and arrange them into a framework, and investigate how these elements have been used in published literature. Method: Seven databases were searched using clusters of keywords themed around “dynamic assessment,” “communication,” and “children.” Papers were reviewed against eligibility criteria by two independent reviewers at both title/abstract and full-text screening stages. Data charting included information about study design and the methodological characteristics of identified dynamic assessments. Results: Sixty-five papers met inclusion criteria. Dynamic assessments were used in a range of areas of communication and used diverse methodologies. A total of 23 elements were identified and formulated into a Dynamic Assessment Framework, arranged into eight categories within two broad domains. A majority of assessments utilized prompting or cueing as instruction (54%), provided a predetermined amount of instruction (55%), measured child performance (63%), and were prescripted (60%). Conclusions: Dynamic assessments are complex. Utilizing a dynamic assessment in clinical practice or research requires a deep understanding of the purpose, clinical population, implementation, and data collection and measurement requirements. From our review of research involving dynamic assessments of communication in children, there is a need for greater transparency of reporting of the elements comprising dynamic assessments. The Dynamic Assessment Framework presented in this review article offers researchers and clinicians a way to have transparent discussions and extend our collective insights into the value of dynamic assessment of children’s communication skills.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1878-1893
Number of pages16
JournalAmerican Journal of Speech-Language Pathology
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2022


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