When to assess (Child Find):
- Does this child meet the “relatively low” threshold of having a suspected disability?
- Might he or she need special education?
Assess in all areas of suspected need:
d. Executive function
e. Auditory processes
f. Visual processes
g. Visual/motor processes
j. Sensory processes
k. Gross/fine motor
o. Aide services
p. Mental health
q. Behavior, including functional behavior
r. Health/medical (including hearing and vision)
s. Adaptive skills
t. Vocational skills
u. Assistive technology
v. Low incidence needs
- Is the child struggling academically, socially, or behaviorally?
- Has a parent expressed concern verbally or in writing?
- Has a teacher or service provider expressed concerns about the child?
- Is the child receiving services or being assessed outside of school?
- Is the child a Regional Center client?
> Ensure all items on assessment plan/suspected areas of disability are assessed;
> Use instruments not racially, culturally, or sexually discriminatory;
> Be administered in language likely to yield accurate information;
> Be administered in form likely to yield accurate information;
> Use valid and reliable measure(s); (no IQ testing when assessing African-American students);
> Be administered by trained personnel;
> Be done by an assessor knowledgeable about student’s disability;
> Be tailored to address specific areas of need;
> Include findings not based on a single general intelligence quotient;
> Accurately reflect aptitude;
> Accurately reflect achievement level;
> Use multiple measures or assessments;
> Include observation in appropriate settings (particularly classroom setting);
> Include relevant records review;
> Include parent interviews/input;
> Include teacher interviews/input;
> Utilize the latest assessment editions;
> Include tests and protocols administered in accordance with instructions;
> Include correct scoring of all protocols;
> Obtain basal point & ceiling point for relevant tests;
> Correctly administer timed assessments;
> Appropriately document start and stop times for timed assessments; and,
> Convert raw scores to standard scores appropriately.
Assessment reports should:
> Identify need for special education and related services and basis for determination using current eligibility criteria;
> Discuss relevant behavior during observation;
> Provide analysis of test scores and not simply summarize;
> Discuss the relationship of behavior to academic and social functioning;
> Discuss relevant medical, health and developmental findings, if any;
> For Specific Learning Disability (SLD), note basis on which student is eligible (i.e. severe discrepancy, response to intervention (RTI), or pattern of strengths & weaknesses);
> Discuss effects of environmental, cultural and/or economic disadvantage, where appropriate;
> For students with low incidence disabilities, discuss need for specialized services;
> For students with low incidence disabilities, discuss need for specialized materials and/or equipment;
> Be well written, signed, dated and page numbered, translated into parent’s primary language, if necessary;
> Explain analysis and findings and not leave out points that warrant discussion; and,
> If appropriate, make service recommendation, frequency and duration should be left to IEP team.
To read more on similar topics, check out ACSA’s special education content.
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