Skip to main content
Article thumbnail
Location of Repository

The Classroom Observation Schedule to Measure Intentional Communication (COSMIC): An observational measure of the intentional communication of children with autism in an unstructured classroom setting

By Greg Pasco, R. K. Gordon, Patricia Howlin, Tony Charman and RK Gordon


The Classroom Observation Schedule to Measure Intentional Communication (COSMIC) was devised to provide ecologically valid outcome measures for a communication-focused intervention trial. Ninety-one children with autism spectrum disorder aged 6 years 10 months (SD 16 months) were videoed during their everyday snack, teaching and free play activities. Inter-rater reliability was high and relevant items showed significant associations with comparable items from concurrent Autism Diagnostic Observation Schedule – Generic (Lord et al., 2000) assessments. In a subsample of 28 children initial differences in rates of initiations, initiated speech/vocalisation and commenting were predictive of language and communication competence 15 months later. Results suggest that the use of observational measures of intentional communication in natural settings is a valuable assessment strategy for research and clinical practice

Year: 2008
OAI identifier:

Suggested articles


  1. (2005). A controlled trial of a training course for parents of children with suspected autism spectrum disorder.
  2. (1990). A longitudinal study of joint attention and language development in autistic children.
  3. (2004). A new social communication intervention for children with autism: pilot randomised controlled treatment study suggesting effectiveness.
  4. (1996). A preliminary manual for the abridged Early Social Communication Scales.
  5. (2000). American Psychiatric Association.
  6. (2005). Assessing communication in autism spectrum disorder.
  7. (1994). Behavioral assessment of autistic disorder. In
  8. (1990). Communication and sensorimotor functioning in children with autism.
  9. (2002). Communication and Symbolic Behavior Scales - Developmental Profile. First Normed Edition.
  10. (1997). Communication assessment. In
  11. (1999). Continuity and change in the social competence of children with autism, Down syndrome, and developmental delays.
  12. (1998). Development of the Children's Communication Checklist (CCC): A method for assessing qualitative aspects of communicative impairment in children.
  13. (2001). Educating Children with Autism.
  14. (1997). Enhancing language and communication development: Theoretical foundations. In
  15. (2000). Expressive One Word Picture Vocabulary Test.
  16. (2006). Generalizability and decision studies: An example using conversational language samples.
  17. (1993). ICD-10: International Classification of Diseases - 10th revision: Classification of mental and behavioural disorders. Geneva: WHO. Observing communication in the classroom 27
  18. (2004). Inclusive programming for toddlers with autism spectrum disorders: Outcomes from the children's toddler school.
  19. (2004). Joint attention and children with autism: A review of the literature. Mental Retardation and Developmental Disabilities Research Reviews,
  20. (2005). Language and communication in autism.
  21. (2004). Matching preschool children with autism spectrum disorders and comparison children for language ability: Methodological challenges.
  22. (1977). Measurement of observer agreement for categorical data.
  23. (2003). Measuring early language development in preschool children with autism spectrum disorder using the MacArthur Communicative Development Inventory (Infant Form).
  24. (1995). Mullen Scales of Early Learning. Circle Pines, MN: American Guidance Services.
  25. (2003). National Initiative for Autism: Screening and Assessment.
  26. (1997). Nonverbal communication in two- and three-year-old children with autism.
  27. (1997). Observing communication in the classroom 22
  28. (2003). Predicting language outcome in infants with autism and pervasive developmental disorder.
  29. (1984). Profiles of communicative and cognitive social abilities in autistic children.
  30. (1998). Sample size and optimal designs for reliability studies.
  31. (2005). Standards of evidence: criteria for efficacy, effectiveness and dissemination.
  32. (2002). The behaviors of parents of children with autism predict the subsequent development of their children's communication.
  33. (1981). The Communicative Intention Inventory - a System for Observing and Coding Children’s Early Intentional Communication.
  34. (2007). The effectiveness of Picture Exchange Communication System (PECS) training for teachers of children with autism: a pragmatic, group randomised controlled trial.
  35. (2000). The effects of social interactive training on early social communicative skills of children with autism.
  36. (2002). The Picture Exchange Communication System Training Manual -2nd edition.
  37. (1980). The social and symbolic quality of autistic children's communication.
  38. (2007). The Social Communication Assessment for Toddlers with Autism (SCATA): An instrument to measure the frequency, form and function of communication in toddlers with autism spectrum disorder.
  39. (2006). Understanding and measuring social communication in children with autism spectrum disorders.
  40. (2003). Why is joint attention a pivotal skill in autism?

To submit an update or takedown request for this paper, please submit an Update/Correction/Removal Request.