Neveen Bashiti1/28/2018SPED4303/5303Assessing theExceptional Individual The terms assessment and evaluation are often usedinterchangeably, yet these two terms significantly differ in meaning.Assessment refers to the procedures used to determine whether a student has adisability and the nature and extent of the special education and relatedservices that the student needs. Before the initial placement of the studentwith disability, a full and individual evaluation is required in all the areasin relation to the suspected disability.

Evaluation in this case includes butis not limited to, health, vision, hearing, social and emotional status,general intelligence, adaptive behavior, academic performance, communicationskills and motor abilities. The evaluation conducted must include sufficientlycomprehensive information to aide in the identification of the suspecteddisability and all the student’s special education and related services needs,whether or not that are linked to the disability of the student. Assessmentshould not be racially or culturally discriminatory. Assessment is essential to the evaluation process.

Assessment includes formal and informal processes of systematically observing,gathering and recording credible information to assist answering evaluationquestions and make decisions regarding the student concerned. Test can be oneway of obtaining information throughout the assessment process. Tests can bestandardized or non-standardized, criterion referenced or norm referenced. Assessmentinformation can be obtained through many other various ways other than test.Observations, interviews, and medical reports are all examples of other ways togather information in addition to tests.

In the case that student’s found eligible for specialeducation all the information collected will translate into the present levelsof academic achievement and functional performance and this makes the basis formaking decisions when creating the student’s IEP. If the student is not foundeligible, the information gathers becomes very useful to LEA in determiningadditional appropriate instruction, and supports for the students. A comprehensive assessment should include the followingelements:1.    Vision/ Hearingscreening2.    Health/ MedicalInformation3.

    Adaptive behavior4.    Social/ emotionalstatus5.    GeneralIntelligence6.    Academicperformance7.

    CommunicativeStatus8.    Motor Abilities9.    Developmentalhistory.10.  Observation of the student during instruction.

11.  Historical review of the student’s academic progress12.  Interviews with parents or teachers.13.

  Assistive Technology.  Observation should take place in thestudent’s learning environment to document his/her academic performance andbehavior in the areas where the student is having difficulty. The academicachievement and developmental progress of the student can be obtained throughobservations, the student’s grades, benchmarks, district wide tests, progressmonitoring and developmental activities. Social and cultural factors play animportant role in the process of assessment. In order to pay close attention toenvironmental or economic disadvantages, it may useful to obtain informationabout educational history; things like enrollment, attendance records andgrades repeated can have a huge impact on the assessment process.

In addition,consideration to cultural factors have proven to be fundamental for theassessment process, and that might require having information related to whatnative language does the student use, what mode of communication andinformation about the student’s English proficiency will definitely be valuableto the process. Autism is an example of a developmentaldisability, that is usually evident before the age of 3, and which affects theverbal and nonverbal communication, social interaction and significantly affectingeducational performance. Some other noticeable characteristics associated withautism include engagement in repetitive activities and stereotypical movements,resistance to environmental change or change in daily routines, and unusualresponses to sensory experiences.  Acomprehensive evaluation for a student with autism consists of:1.    Medical Information2.

    Cognitive/ Intellectual3.    Motor processing/ perceptual/ sensory4.    Academic/ achievement/ functional levels5.    Communication/language6.    Adaptive behavior7.

    Social or cultural background.8.    Behavioral functioning.

 Some things to consider whileassessing a student with autism is the use of a wide variety of methodsincluding formal and informal observations, interviews, and direct studentevaluation.      Deafness-Blindness: the studenthere demonstrates both hearing and visual impairment, the combination of bothimpairments cause such severe communication and other developmental andeducational needs.A comprehensive evaluation for astudent with deaf-blindness would include:1.    Audiological/hearing2.

    Communication/language3.    Ophthalmological or optometric/vision4.    Adaptive behavior and social or culturalbackground5.    Cognitive/intellectual6.    Academic/ achievement/developmental.

 Some considerations to thisstudent’s evaluation may include reports from an audiologist and optometrist todetermine the extent of the hearing and the visual impairment. Adaptivebehavior information must be assessed in a way that the student can compensatefor the sensory losses. The consideration of assistive technology is essential. Deafness-Hearing Impairment: is animpairment that affects educational performance. This impairment is severe tothe point that with or without amplification the student is limited inprocessing his linguistic information through hearing.

Some comprehensiveevaluation to be considered is audiological examination,communication/language, academic/achievement/developmental, and adaptivebehavior and social or cultural background.   

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