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WHAT IS CHILDHOOD ASSESSMENT?

oCHILDHOOD ASSESSMENT IS A PROCESS OF GATHERING INFORMATION ABOUT A CHILD, REVIEWING THE


INFORMATION, AND THEN USING THE INFORMATION TO PLAN EDUCATIONAL ACTIVITIES THAT ARE AT A
LEVEL THE CHILD CAN UNDERSTAND AND IS ABLE TO LEARN FROM.
oIT HELPS TO UNDERSTAND AND SUPPORT A YOUNG CHILDS DEVELOPMENT, AND TO DOCUMENT AND
EVALUATE HOW EFFECTIVE PROGRAMS ARE FOR CHILDREN.
PURPOSE OF CHILD ASSESSMENT
SCREENING
TO IDENTIFY POTENTIAL PROBLEMS IN DEVELOPMENT; ENSURE DEVELOPMENT IS ON TARGET.

INSTRUCTIONAL
TO INFORM, SUPPORT, AND MONITOR LEARNING.

DIAGNOSTIC
TO DIAGNOSE STRENGTHS AND AREAS OF NEED TO SUPPORT DEVELOPMENT, INSTRUCTION, AND/OR BEHAVIOR.
TO DIAGNOSE THE SEVERITY AND NATURE OF SPECIAL NEEDS, AND ESTABLISH PROGRAM ELIGIBILITY.

ASSESSMENT FOR PROGRAM EVALUATION


TO EVALUATE PROGRAMS AND PROVIDE ACCOUNTABILITY DATA ON PROGRAM OUTCOMES FOR THE PURPOSE OF PROGRAM
IMPROVEMENT.
ASSESSMENT INSTRUMENTS ADDRESS THE
FOLLOWING:
APPROACHES TO LEARNING MATH/NUMERACY
PHYSICAL/MOTOR SENSORY FUNCTION
SOCIAL/EMOTIONAL TEMPERAMENT
COGNITIVE BEHAVIOR
COMMUNICATION AND LANGUAGE SPECIFIC DISABILITY
LITERACY
CONSIDERATIONS IN EARLY CHILDHOOD
ASSESSMENT
COMPLETE AND MEANINGFUL ASSESSMENT IN EARLY CHILDHOOD NECESSITATES AN UNDERSTANDING OF FAMILY CONTEXT,
INCLUDING GETTING TO KNOW FAMILY LANGUAGE AND CULTURE, GATHERING DEVELOPMENTAL INFORMATION FROM
PARENTS, AND CONDUCTING HOME VISITS WITH PARENT APPROVAL.
YOUNGER CHILDREN PRESENT SOME COMPLEX CHALLENGES AND REQUIRE FLEXIBLE PROCEDURES FOR GATHERING
MEANINGFUL AND USEFUL ASSESSMENT INFORMATION.
YOUNG CHILDREN LEARN BY DOING, AND DEMONSTRATE KNOWLEDGE AND SKILLS THROUGH ACTION-ORIENTED ACTIVITIES.
MORE ASSESSMENTS AND INCREASED DATA DO NOT NECESSARILY RESULT IN BETTER ASSESSMENT INFORMATION.
SOME ASSESSMENT INSTRUMENTS AND PROCEDURES ARE BETTER THAN OTHERS.
TYPES AND PROPERTIES OF ASSESSMENTS
STANDARDIZED ASSESSMENTS
INVOLVES A PREDETERMINED SET OF ASSESSMENT ITEMS THAT REPRESENT STANDARDS OF KNOWLEDGE AND/OR
SKILLS.
NORM-REFERENCED ASSESSMENTS
COMPARE A CHILDS SCORE TO THE SCORES OF A GROUP OF SAME-AGE PEERS (NORM GROUP).
CRITERION-REFERENCED ASSESSMENTS
MEASURE A CHILDS PERFORMANCE AGAINST A PREDETERMINED SET OF CRITERIA, GENERALLY DEVELOPMENTALLY
SEQUENCED OR TASK ANALYZED SKILLS.
CURRICULUM-REFERENCED ASSESSMENTS
ARE CRITERION-REFERENCED INSTRUMENTS THAT ARE PACKAGED WITH AN ALIGNED SET OF CURRICULUM GOALS.
READINESS ASSESSMENTS
ARE TESTS THAT GATHER INFORMATION TO DETERMINE HOW WELL A CHILD IS PREPARED FOR A SPECIFIC
PROGRAM.
CHILD ASSESSMENT METHODS
METHODS OF CHILD ASSESSMENT CAN BE INFORMAL (CONDUCTING NATURAL OBSERVATIONS,
COLLECTING DATA AND CHILDRENS WORK FOR PORTFOLIOS, USING EDUCATOR AND TEACHER
RATINGS) AND FORMAL (USING ASSESSMENT TOOLS SUCH AS QUESTIONNAIRES AND
STANDARDIZED TESTING). BOTH METHODS ARE EFFECTIVE AND CAN HELP INFORM EDUCATORS
AND PARENTS ABOUT A CHILDS PROGRESS.
a) OBSERVATIONS CAN BE MADE WITH MINIMAL OR NO INTRUSION INTO CHILDRENS ACTIVITIES.
EDUCATORS CAN OBSERVE ALL FACETS OF DEVELOPMENT, INCLUDING INTELLECTUAL,
LINGUISTIC, SOCIAL-EMOTIONAL, AND PHYSICAL DEVELOPMENT, ON A REGULAR BASIS.
b) PORTFOLIOS ARE A RECORD OF DATA THAT IS COLLECTED THROUGH THE WORK CHILDREN
HAVE PRODUCED OVER A PERIOD OF TIME. THE COLLECTION CLEARLY SHOWS THE PROGRESS
OF A CHILDS DEVELOPMENT. PORTFOLIOS CAN BE AN IMPORTANT TOOL IN HELPING FACILITATE
A PARTNERSHIP BETWEEN TEACHERS AND PARENTS.
CHILD ASSESSMENT METHODS
c) EDUCATOR RATINGS ARE USEFUL IN ASSESSING CHILDRENS COGNITIVE AND LANGUAGE
ABILITIES AS WELL AS THEIR SOCIAL-EMOTIONAL DEVELOPMENT. THESE RATINGS CAN BE
LINKED TO OTHER METHODS OF ASSESSMENT, SUCH AS STANDARDIZED TESTING OR
OTHER ASSESSMENT TOOLS.
d) PARENT RATINGS INTEGRATE PARENTS INTO THE ASSESSMENT PROCESS. PARENTS WHO
ARE ENCOURAGED TO OBSERVE AND LISTEN TO THEIR CHILD CAN HELP DETECT AND
TARGET IMPORTANT MILESTONES AND BEHAVIORS IN THEIR CHILDS DEVELOPMENT.
e) STANDARDIZED TESTS ARE TESTS CREATED TO FIT A SET OF TESTING STANDARDS. THESE
TESTS ARE ADMINISTERED AND SCORED IN A STANDARD MANNER AND ARE OFTEN USED
TO ASSESS THE PERFORMANCE OF CHILDREN IN A PROGRAM.
CLASSIFICATION AND
DIAGNOSIS
COMMONLY
IDENTIFIED
DIMENSIONS
THE DIAGNOSTIC AND
STATISTICAL MANUAL
NEURODEVELOPMENTAL
DISORDERS
TREATMENT
INTERVENTIONS TODAY ARE PLANNED BY COMBINING THE MOST EFFECTIVE APPROACHES TO A PARTICULAR PROBLEM
THE MOST USEFUL TREATMENTS ARE BASED ON WHAT WE KNOW ABOUT A PARTICULAR CHILDHOOD DISORDER
DATA IS NEEDED TO SHOW THAT INTERVENTIONS WORK
MULTIPLE PROBLEMS REQUIRE MULTIPLE SOLUTIONS
PROBLEM-SOLVING STRATEGIES ARE PART OF A SPECTRUM OF ACTIVITIES FOR TREATMENT, MAINTENANCE, AND
PREVENTION
INTERVENTIONS ARE PART OF AN ONGOING DECISION-MAKING APPROACH
TREATMENT GOALS
OUTCOMES RELATED TO CHILD FUNCTIONING
REDUCE OR ELIMINATE SYMPTOMS
REDUCE DEGREE OF IMPAIRMENT IN FUNCTIONING
ENHANCE SOCIAL COMPETENCE
IMPROVE ACADEMIC PERFORMANCE

OUTCOMES RELATED TO FAMILY FUNCTIONING


REDUCE LEVEL OF FAMILY DYSFUNCTION
IMPROVE MARITAL AND SIBLING RELATIONSHIPS
REDUCE STRESS
ENHANCE FAMILY SUPPORT
TREATMENT GOALS
OUTCOMES OF SOCIETAL IMPORTANCE
IMPROVE CHILDS PARTICIPATION IN SCHOOL-RELATED ACTIVITIES
DECREASE INVOLVEMENT IN JUVENILE JUSTICE SYSTEM
REDUCE NEED FOR SPECIAL SERVICES
REDUCE ACCIDENTAL INJURIES OR SUBSTANCE ABUSE
ENHANCE PHYSICAL AND MENTAL HEALTH
ETHICAL ISSUES IN CLINICAL WORK WITH
CHILDREN AND FAMILIES
1. CHILDREN ARE MORE INHERENTLY VULNERABLE THAN ADULTS.
2. CHILDRENS ABILITIES ARE MORE VARIABLE AND CHANGE OVER TIME.
3. CHILDREN ARE MORE RELIANT UPON OTHERS AND UPON THEIR ENVIRONMENT.
4. ETHICAL PRINCIPLES AND PRACTICES IN THE TREATMENT OF ADULTS MUST BE MODIFIED IN RESPONSE TO THE
CHILDS CURRENT DEVELOPMENTAL ABILITIES AND LEGAL STATUS.
5. BOUNDARY AND ROLE ISSUES ARE OFTEN MORE PREVALENT AND MORE COMPLEX WHEN CARING FOR CHILDREN
THAN FOR ADULTS.
6. ADULT PRACTICES, AND THE ADULT KNOWLEDGE BASE, DO NOT TRANSFER RELIABLY TO THE CARE OF CHILDREN.
7. PRACTITIONERS MUST DEVELOP SKILLS TO WORK WITH FAMILIES, AGENCIES, AND SYSTEMS.
8. IT IS KEY TO MONITOR ONES OWN ACTIONS AND MOTIVATIONS.
9. SEEKING CONSULTATION AND ADVICE IS HELPFUL IN DIFFICULT SITUATIONS.
10. IT IS ESSENTIAL TO MAINTAIN AN ABSOLUTE COMMITMENT TO THE SAFETY AND WELL-BEING OF THE PATIENT.