TIPS for BDI-2 Communication Domain

Tip Sheet for COMMUNICATION Domain

Receptive Communication

RC 7:  Responds to different tones of voice. (Structured or Interview)

Helpful hint:  You may want to use the Interview procedure as to not disrupt compliance of the rest of the testing. Probing question for Interview:  If your child is about to do something dangerous or undesirable (i.e. an outlet with a sharp object or hot stove, pulling hair or biting) when you use a firm voice, to what extent do they comply?

Scoring:  Hesitates or stops when told in a firm voice NO = 2. Hesitates but continues to move toward toy = 1. Does not hesitate or stop = 0.

RC 8:  Attends to conversation for 30 seconds. (Structured or Interview)

Child should either turn head or shift eyes from speaker to speaker or imitate facial or verbal cues of speaker.

Scoring: 30 seconds continuously observed or 90% or more of the time = 2.  30 seconds but not continuously or sometimes = 1.  Less than 30 seconds or rarely/never = 0.


RC 9:  The child associates spoken words with familiar objects or actions. (Structured)

If you are not in the child’s natural environment, use objects that are available and actions that are available in the room and appropriate for the child.  (i.e. books, body parts, balls, toy cars, clothing, chair, table)

Scoring:  3 or more word = 2, one or two words = 1, zero words = 0.

RC 10:  Identifies family members or pets when named. (Structured or Interview)

Where is ______? Person/pet 5 feet away.  Repeat question 2 times.  Child must look at, turn head, or point.  Total of three trials.  Either finger pointing or definite head turn toward the person or animal. If only one family member present have them move to a different spot in the room for each trial or use Interview method.

Scoring:  All 3 trials = 2.  Two trials = 1.  One or zero trials = 0


RC 14:  Responds to the prepositions out and on. (Structured)

Child is seated, place the ring and the sheet of paper 5 inches apart in front of the child.  Place the small toy in the ring.  DO NOT USE GESTURES when you give the instructions:

The ___(toy) wants to get out of the ring, take the _____ out of the ring.

When the child responds say “The ____ wants to be on the paper; put the _____ on the paper.”

Each request (it is not a two-step direction) is a pass or fail.  Scoring:  Two requests = 2.  One requests = 1.  Zero requests = 0.  If the child takes the ring off the toy or picks up the ring and the toy, no credit is given.

RC 19:  Responds to the prepositions toward and behind.  (Structured)

USE – baby, mommy, and boy.  Place the baby doll in front of the child, mommy 6 inches to the left and boy 6 inches to the right.  DO NOT USE GESTURES while giving instructions:

(The boy is used as an important distractor.) Scoring:  Two requests = 2.  One request = 1.  Zero requests = 0.

RC 20:  Responds to the adverbs softly and loudly.  (Structured)

Remember to clap and stomp.  Practice with the child is allowed – let’s clap, then ask child to clap softly, then loudly.  Repeat with stomp.  DO NOT CHANGE the volume of your voice.

Scoring:  All 4 verbal requests = 2.  Two-three requests = 1.  One to Zero requests = 0.


RC 24:  Understands simple negations.  (Structured)

Administer items in sequential order per manual.  (Complete both responses on each page before moving on)

Scoring: 6 requests = 2;  4 or 5 requests = 1; 3 or fewer requests = 0.


RC 32:  Recalls events from a story presented orally.  (Structured)

Child can respond orally or point to the correct picture.   Must use the story from the manual and must be structured. 

Scoring: All 3 questions = 2; Two questions = 1; One or zero questions – 0.

Expressive Communication

EC 12:  The child uses 10 or more words.  (Observation or Interview)

Words must be meaningful to family/caregiver and used spontaneously without prompting.

Scoring:  10 or more word = 2, Between 5 and 9 words = 1, four or fewer = 0.


 EC 13:  Communicates in a back-and-forth, turn-taking style using sounds, gestures, or other nonverbal methods.  (Observation or Interview)

Notice child while in presence of others, note whether actions/sounds (nonverbal:  head shaking, pointing, reaching, eye gazing) are in response to others on topic. 

Scoring:  90% or more = Score 2.  Sometimes = Score 1.  <10% (rarely or never) Score = 0.

EC 14:  Uses 2-word utterances to express meaningful relationships. (Observation or Interview)

Examples of spontaneous 2-word utterances:  more milk, no car, pretty dress, big ball, where go.

Sentences starting with a variety of words (want juice, want ball will count as one instance.)

Scoring:  4 or more instances = 2; two or three instances = 1; one or zero instances = 0.

EC 17:  Uses 3-word phrases meaningfully. (Observation or Interview)

Examples of spontaneous 3-word phrases:  Pick me up, give to me, I want cookie.

Scoring: 4 or more instances in 24 hours = 2; two or three instances in 24 hours = 1; one or zero instances in 24 hours = 0.


EC 19:  Uses the pronouns I, you, and me. (Observation or Interview)

The child MUST use all 3 more than 1 time per day, usage does not have to be grammatically correct.

Scoring:  90% of the time or more = Score 2; Sometimes = Score 1;  <10% (rarely or never) Score = 0.


EC 22:  Asks questions that begin with who and where. (Observation or Interview)


Scoring:  90% of the time or more = Score 2; Sometimes = Score 1;  <10% (rarely or never) Score = 0.


EC 24:  Asks questions that begin with why and how. (Observation or Interview)


Scoring:  90% of the time or more = Score 2; Sometimes = Score 1;  <10% (rarely or never) Score = 0.