(CAPs) Clinical Assessment of Pragmatics NEW

By Adriana Lavi, PhD, CCC-SLP

(CAPs) Clinical Assessment of Pragmatics


Video based. Provides comprehensive information on pragmatic language skills and social language development of children and young adults


7 to 18 years

Admin Time

45 minutes to 1 hour for all 6 tests


Individually administered performance tests based on digital video scenes


Scaled scores and percentiles for each of the 6 tests; standard scores and percentiles for 3 index scores (Pragmatic Judgment, Pragmatic Performance, Paralinguistic) and 1 overall score (Core Pragmatic Language Composite)


Based on a sample of 914 children and young adults in the U.S. between the ages of 7 years, 0 months and 18 years, 11 months matching U.S. Census data and stratified within each age group by gender, race/ethnic group, geographic region, and socioeconomic status

Publish Date



Level C required.
About Qualification Levels

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Show details for CAPs Kit

Product #: W-699

CAPs Kit

Includes USB Key With Audio–Video Scenes; 25 Examiner Record Forms; Manual


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CAPs USB with Audio-Video Scenes

Show details for CAPs USB with Audio-Video Scenes

Product #: W-699U

CAPs USB with Audio-Video Scenes

USB Key With Audio–Video Scenes


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CAPs Examiner Record Form (Pack of 25)

Show details for CAPs Examiner Record Form (Pack of 25)

Product #: W-699A

CAPs Examiner Record Form (Pack of 25)


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Show details for CAPs Manual

Product #: W-699M

CAPs Manual


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(CAPs) Clinical Assessment of Pragmatics NEW

(CAPs) Clinical Assessment of Pragmatics

CAPs is a revolutionary assessment that uses video scenes of real people in social situations to assess an examinee’s ability to understand and use pragmatic language, including nonverbal cues, as well as overall dynamics of social context. The videos depict real-life situations, and the examinee responds to questions posed by the examiner after watching each clip.The norm-referenced measure is sensitive to pragmatic deficits exhibited by students with high-functioning autism, language delays, and social (pragmatic) communication disorders. 


Range of CAPs uses
The battery of six subtests allows the clinician to obtain a comprehensive profile of pragmatic language skills and social language development. The test helps to:

  • Identify pragmatic language deficits and determine the degree of such deficits (e.g., initial IEP-based evaluations)
  • Determine strengths and weaknesses within a variety of pragmatic language domains (e.g., pragmatic judgment versus performance, instrumental communication versus affective communication, comprehension and use of paralinguistic cues)
  • Document progress in pragmatic language skills, measure treatment efficacy, or re-evaluate overall pragmatic language profiles as part of triennial IEP-based reviews
  • Analyze social (pragmatic) language skills in children and young adults for research purposes

Need for Pragmatic Assessment

Speech–language pathologists in schools have limited time for informal pragmatic language evaluations. An increasing number of students are referred for pragmatic language evaluations in schools, but SLPs and school psychologists do not have access to effective and efficient assessment instruments in this area. As a practicing SLP, the author developed this test because of the huge need she witnessed over 15 years.


Video-Based Social Situations

Using a series of video-based social scenarios, examinees are presented with scenes and are asked two types of questions: 

  • On the pragmatic judgment (receptive pragmatic) subtests, the examinees are asked to judge the appropriateness of a variety of social situations by answering the following: “Did anything go wrong in this video?” and “What went wrong?” 
  • On the pragmatic performance (expressive pragmatic) subtests, the examinees are presented with a social situation and are asked: “What would you say and how?”


The actors in the videos come from a wide variety of ethnic and cultural backgrounds, and the verbal dialogue is easy to understand. The presentation is controlled for speed without being unnaturally slow. Vocabulary is appropriate to the testing age range, and the real-life situations commonly occur in environments with which the participants could be expected to be familiar.


Standard scores are provided to assess knowledge of: 

  • Pragmatic judgment (comprehension) 
  • Performance of pragmatic language (expression)
  • Understanding context and emotions (intent of the speaker through inference, sarcasm, and indirect requests)
  • Nonverbal cues (facial expressions, prosody, and gestures)


Comprehensive Profile of Pragmatic Language Skills

CAPs evaluates an examinee’s level of pragmatic judgment (meaning their ability to comprehend social situations) and their ability to express themselves in an appropriate manner within various social situations. The pragmatic performance aspect of this test is a unique feature that allows the examiner to elicit the participant’s verbal and nonverbal responses. Beginning with “superficial” layers of social situations, this test delves into every level of pragmatics and assesses “intricate” high-level skills, such as an examinee’s ability to express sadness, gratitude, frustration, support, surprise, and their ability to use nonverbal language.


Assessment of Paralinguistic Skills (Reading and Using Nonverbal Language)

A key area that may have been overlooked by traditional testing is the examinee’s use of higher-level pragmatic language, specifically the ability to use affective communication and paralinguistic cues. The Paralinguistic Decoding subtest assesses the ability to use various nonverbal cues, such as facial expressions, tone of voice, inflections in prosody, gestures, and overall body language to express a variety of communicative intents. 


CAPs is an effective means by which speech–language pathologists, as well as other related practitioners, can obtain a comprehensive understanding of their examinees’ pragmatic language needs across social situations.


Efficient Administration and Scoring

The interactive CAPs test can be administered with relative ease. Scoring has been simplified by listing the scoring criteria and rubrics in the Examiner Record Forms. A listing of the most common correct and incorrect responses is provided in the CAPs manual.

Related Search Terms

CAPs, Clinical Assessment of Pragmatics, Social Communication Disorder

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