Measuring Early Communication in Students with Autism (MECSA) project builds upon previous research involving the Communication Complexity Scale (CCS). The CCS was developed by Dr. Nancy Brady and colleagues. The scale looks at communication development from pre-intentional to intentional symbolic communication. Funded by the Institute of Education Sciences, the MECSA project partners with regional school districts to expand the use of the CCS by testing its applicability to naturalistic classroom settings. By getting ongoing feedback from school partners, the project aims to develop ways in which the CCS can be adapted for use by educators in order to better meet the assessment needs of minimally verbal students with autism.