Wordle For Blog

Impact of COMPOT monitoring tool

Esther Flynn, Speech and Language Therapist at I CAN’s Dawn House School reports on the impact of their COMPOT (Communication Progress Over Time) monitoring tool

The therapy team at I CAN‘s Dawn House School were set the task of developing a tool for showing children’s progress with their functional communication skills. This was a challenge they were keen to meet and after a period of consultation and planning, COMPOT (Communication Progress Over Time) was developed.

Before developing the COMPOT monitoring tool, the team looked at similar measures that were being used elsewhere. Although there were many useful elements to these, it was decided to develop a specialist tool specifically for use in Dawn House School. However, many aspects of the tool would apply across a variety of settings.

The COMPOT allows Speech and Language Therapists to plot children’s communication skills on a 0-10 scale. The scale covers: language for learning, attention and listening, receptive language, expressive language, speech and social skills. A key aim was to make this process as simple and informative as possible.

Each year the Speech and Language Therapists will re-evaluate the children’s skills and this will reflect their progress in the target communication areas. It will also allow for future planning and support. This is vital in supporting teachers with their lesson planning and dovetails with information about their educational progress; its visual presentation allows for easy interpretation.

So far the Speech and Language Therapists have used the scale in July 2015. In June 2016 we have marked a milestone by repeating the evaluation. This process has shown that many pupils have improved in several areas of the scale (for example in the primary class 100% of pupils improved in at least one section of the profile). Where pupils have maintained the same levels on the scale it has supported discussions about how to encourage the development of communication skills in the future, and how to make the scale as sensitive as possible.

The data collected so far also inspires discussion and raises interesting questions such as: do children make more rapid progress at different ages or at different stages of their education, and why might this be? How do we reflect the impact that the children’s life experiences and wider needs have on their communication skills? How do we facilitate children to make their own decisions about their communication priorities? These are all questions that will allow us to develop this tool in the future.

To find out more about Dawn House School, click here.