Description of Assessments (alphabetized)
Adaptive Behavior Assessment (administered by licensed or certified service providers): A determination of specific aspects of functioning that includes, but is not limited to: communication, activities of daily living (e.g., community use, home living, health and safety, leisure, self-care), self-direction, social, work, and motor skills. Information is gathered from parents, caregivers, teachers, and the individual, as appropriate.
Educational Assessment (administered by special education or general education teachers; related service providers): An informal assessment that may include an observation of the child in classrooms, job sites, community settings, work study programs, and the greater school community. Interviews with parents, teachers, employers, job coaches, and private providers might also be included in the informal assessment. A review of the child’s academic history (e.g., work samples, school records, and school evaluations) can be part of this process. A formal administration of individual standardized tests of academic abilities and functioning may be provided by the school psychologist (see below) or trained special educator. A written or verbal report summarizing the findings with recommendations for programming strategies, further intervention, or for referral is shared by the teacher with the staffing team.
Functional Behavioral Assessment (FBA) (administered by related service providers): A problem-solving evaluation, typically conducted by personnel trained in behavioral practices (e.g., behavioral specialist, school psychologist), designed to determine the underlying cause (function) of a specific behavior to determine the best approach for reducing or eliminating the undesired behavior(s).
Occupational Therapy (OT) Assessment (administered by licensed occupational therapists): An assessment to help determine the need for skill development or compensatory tools and strategies (e.g., use of the computer and keyboarding skills) to assist with daily living functioning. This assessment may also determine what settings are optimal and what alterations can be made in the environment to achieve the best performance by the child. The PT evaluation can help plan an adaptive PE program.
Psychoeducational Evaluation (administered by certified/licensed school psychologists, licensed psychologists): An evaluation process utilized to ascertain the underlying cognitive and academic processes that might influence the child’s educational performance. The evaluation must include more than cognitive testing (which may not be needed). For example, the school psychologist/psychologist may conduct FBAs, administer achievement tests, analyze adaptive behavior scales, interpret behavioral assessments such as checklist for ADHD, Autism Spectrum Disorders, and Mood Disorders (e.g., anxiety, depression), and initiate interviews with the parent, teacher, and student. They may review school, clinical, medical, and other private records. The evaluation must consider diversity factors. For example, as children with FXS are often better at simultaneous processing than sequential processing, instruments which assess both will provide helpful information regarding the student’s strengths and weaknesses. Social-emotional checklists are completed by teachers and parents and/or caregivers who have knowledge of the child’s skills in various environments. Formal educational testing, which is a part of the psychoeducational evaluation, is typically recommended every three years; however, the educational team may decide to waive further psychoeducational testing if they feel such assessments are not required.
Speech/Language Assessment (administered by licensed speech & language pathologists): An assessment typically focused on all domains of language (e.g., phonology, syntax, semantics, pragmatics, and receptive and expressive language), as well as oral motor skills and hearing. Some areas may need further assessment and might involve more in-depth testing. For example, speech intelligibility may include an assessment of individual sounds, phonological processes, and measures of prosody (e.g., intonation, stress pattern, loudness variations, pausing, and rhythm).
Vocational Assessment (administered by special education teachers; related service providers): A determination, in collaboration with the student, whereby appropriate placement and training for adult work can be arranged that aligns the student’s aspirations with their capabilities. Vocational assessments should include in vivo exposure to a variety of work environments, job coaching, and natural supports. When there is a social component, it usually increases engagement and motivation.