There are several types of evaluations/assessments that can be done by school systems or independently. This webpage describes eleven type of assessments/evaluations. If the school is evaluating your child, they must be evaluated in ALL the areas of suspected disability.
Educational Evaluation , Psychological Evaluation (Wechsler Intelligence, Attention, behaviors and emotions ), Neuropsychological Evaluation, Functional Behavioral Assessment, Speech and Language Evaluation, Auditory Processing Evaluation, Occupational Therapy (OT) Evaluation, Physical Therapy (PT) Evaluation, Assistive Technology (AT) Assessment, Transition Assessment(TA), Home Assessment, and Teacher Assessment/Observation.
If you have received "EVALUATION CONSENT FORM", (form called Attachment to N 1) in the mail. Before you sign and return this form, you can request a "pre-evaluation conference" to talk with a school professional(s) about the 5 W's (Who, What, When, Where, Why) who will conduct each evaluation, what evaluations/tests would be helpful, when will your child be taken out of classes to be tested and where will your child be given the test/evaluations and who will be explaining why the evaluations are happening? These are the assessments/evaluations that can be listed on the Consent form (N1), it may include these but are not limited to what is printed on the (Attachment to N 1) form.
Dept. of Education defines an "Educational Assessment" of the student's educational progress and status in relation to the general education curriculum and the district curriculum as well consistent Massachusetts Curriculum Frameworks and the assessment conducted by a certified educator(s) and the special education regulation 603 CMR 28.04(2).
2. Psychological Evaluation - Is an intelligent test, it measure general cognitive ability.
Dept. of Education defines an "psychological Assessment" by an authorized psychologist or school psychologist including an individual psychological examination and culminating in specific recommendations. Sensory, motor, language, perceptual, attentional, cognitive, affective, attitudinal, self-image, interpersonal, behavioral, interest, and vocational factors are evaluated in regard to the child's maturity, integrity and dynamic interaction within the educational context. The assessment is based on the child's developmental and social history, diagnostic observation of the child in a familiar surroundings (such as a classroom) and psychological testing as indicated. Psychological testing may include, but is not limited to: intelligence testing, educational achievement testing, personality evaluation, a vocational interest evaluation, assessment of brain damage, and neuropsychological examination.
The Wechsler Preschool and Primary Scale of Intelligence (WPPSI) for children ages 3 - 7 1/4 years
- WPPSI-III (3rd Editon)
- WPPSI-R (revised) older verison
(The WPPSI-R is a revision of the original WPPSI, first published in 1967. Changed from the WPPSI to the WPPSI-R included extending the age range from 4 to 6 1/2 years, now age 3 to 7 1/4 years).
- The Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale (WAIS) for students over age 16
For further reading "Understanding Tests and Measurement for the Parent, Advocate and Attorney "
by Peter W. D. Wright, Esq. and Pamela Darr Wright, M.A., M.S.W. Licensed Clinical Social Worker (2001).
3. Neuropsychological Evaluation - The Neuropsychological profile gives you a global picture of your child's approach to doing things, based on patterns of strengths, weaknesses and integration among a range of neurological measures. A good way to diagnose ADD, autism, PDD or specific LD issues. (This evaluation is done when there are learning, behavioral or social concerns.)
Parent comment: "This is the best evaluation we ever had done. It told us how our child learns. He enjoyed the testing, especially missing a day of school!" M.O.
4. Functional Behavioral Assessment (FBA) - Functional behavioral assessment is a problem-solving process for addressing student problem behavior. It is used to identify the purposes of specific behavior and to help IEP team select interventions to directly address the problem behavior. It is the process of determining the cause (or "function") of behavior before developing an intervention. FBA is used to create Behavior plans, contain: strategies, document skills the students need in order to behave in a more appropriate manner, or plans providing motivation to conform to required standards. The plan should be proactive, positive intervention plans that teach new ways of behaving, and address both the source of the problem, by serving the same function, and the problem itself. The interventions must be based on the hypothesized cause (function) of behavior.
5. Speech and Language Evaluation - an assessment of receptive language (the ability to understand spoken language), expressive language (the ability to formulate and organize oral language and written language), phonological processing (the ability to manipulate individual sounds within words), articulation, voice, auditory memory, pragmatics (the ability to use language effectively to interact with people). One of the commonly used speech and language test used to assess expressive and receptive oral language is the CELF = Clinical Evaluation of Language Fundamentals.
6. Auditory Processing Evaluation : An audiologist evaluates, identifies, measures and treats hearing disorders, loss and central auditory processing (CAP) issues. This evaluation is performed by Audiologists who are found at most major hospitals, school do not perform this evaluation.
Note: Central Auditory Processing (CAP) and Visual Processing, also involves short-term memory, represents the actual quantity of pieces of information taken in by either the auditory or visual areas of the brain to understands, interprets or categorizes information, not the hearing organs themselves.
7. Occupational Therapy (OT) Evaluation - an evaluation of fine and gross motor skills, visual motor integration, visual perception or visual processing, (The terms, "visual processing" and "visual perception", are often used interchangeably. See the "Note above.) and sensory integration (SI).
8. Physical Therapy (PT) Evaluation: An evaluation of physical activities such as sitting, standing, crawling, walking, running, and climbing. It looks at your child's body strength, coordination, balance, and symmetry as he moves and control his body, and how he plans new motor activities. The PT will want to do know what your concerns are about your child's development and why you wanted to do have a PT evaluation. The PT will ask you about your child's birth history and developmental milestones. Your child's typical routine during the day and what his favorite and least favorite activities are, and what sort of outdoor games or playground toys he enjoys.
9. Assistive Technology (AT) Assessment: An assessment to find ways to meet the needs of the student by matching the strengths and weaknesses of the student to the device. Key in examining the academic area is remembering that the device should not be used to replace interactions with the teacher or peers, nor should it be used to replace instruction (Garner & Campbell, 1987). The device should enhance interactions and learning. The goal for AT use is to allow learners to use their strengths and participate as fully as possible in the school. Some of the commonly used devices and software programs are listed on our Tools & Technologies webpage.
10. Transition Assessment (TA): An assessment of combination of the following types: Paper and pencil tests, structured student and family interviews, community or work-based assessments (situational) and curriculum-based assessments. These assessments or procedures come in two general formats – formal and informal. Informal measures may include interviews or questionnaires, direct observations, anecdotal records, environmental or situational analysis, curriculum-based assessments, interest inventories, preference assessments, and transition planning inventories. Formal measures include adaptive behavior and independent living assessments, aptitude tests, interest assessments, intelligence tests, achievement tests, personality or preference tests, career development measures, on the job or training evaluations, and measures of self-determination. For a list of 9 catalogues and Transition Assessment.
11. Home Assessment - An assessment by an authorized social worker, nurse, guidance counselor teacher or psychologist. For pertinent family history and home situation factors including, with parental consent, a home visit.
This assessment includes a description of pertinent family history and individual developmental history and estimates of adaptive behavior at home, in neighborhood, and in local peer groups. Estimates of adaptive behavior are to the greatest possible degree on information obtained by direct observation of the child. or direct interview of the child in the neighborhood setting.
12. Teacher Assessment/Observation - An assessment by the classroom teacher to include current information on the student's present level of performance (PLOP) in the general curriculum.