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Early Childhood Education and Assessment (updated April 2000)

What are some considerations in assessment in early childhood special education?

"Early intervention cannot exist without an effective identification process. The components of this process include specific identification methods and, more importantly, an identification system that guarantees equal access and efficient transition to assessment and services when indicated."

When sorting out the best approaches, diversity is welcome and should be encouraged: informal vs. formal screenings; mass vs. selected screening; direct testing vs. parent questionnaires; brief vs. more extended screening procedures. Through experimentation, a menu of possibilities that can be adapted to varying circumstances can be achieved." (From Identification & Assessment in Early Intervention by James A. Blackman. Aspen Publisher, Inc.)

Following are links to related ERIC Digests, frequently asked questions (FAQs), and Internet resources, as well as selected citations from the ERIC database and the search terms we used to find the citations.

You can search the ERIC database yourself on the Internet through either of the following web sites:

ERIC Citations

The full text of citations beginning with an ED number (for example, EDxxxxxx) is available:

  • In microfiche collections worldwide; to find your nearest ERIC Resource Collection, point your web browser to: http://ericae.net/derc.htm.
  • For a fee through the ERIC Document Reproduction Service (EDRS): http://edrs.com, service@edrs.com, or 1.800.443.ERIC. (no longer available)

The full text of citations beginning with an EJ number (for example, EJxxxxxx) is available for a fee from:

ERIC Search Terms Used

early childhood education OR preschool education OR early intervention


disability identification OR educational diagnosis OR clinical diagnosis



You can search the ERIC database yourself on the Internet through either of the following web sites:

ERIC Citations

Citations with an ED (ERIC Document; for example, ED123456) number are available:

Journal articles (for example, EJ999999) are available for a fee from:

EJ511852 EC612415
Validity of an Observation Screening Instrument in a Multicultural Population.
Alberts, Francine M.; And Others
Journal of Early Intervention, v19 n2 p168-77 Spr 1995
ISSN: 1053-8151
Language: English
Journal Announcement: CIJFEB96
Target Audience: Researchers
This study found that the Davis Observation Checklist for Texas, an observational teacher checklist for screening preschool children for communication disorders, demonstrated adequate sensitivity and specificity. The concurrent validity of the checklist was assessed with 59 multicultural children (ages 4 through 5), including Mexican Americans, African Americans, and Anglos.
Descriptors: Behavior Rating Scales; Check Lists; *Communication Disorders; Concurrent Validity; Cultural Background; *Cultural Pluralism; *Disability Identification; Ethnic Groups; Preschool Children; Preschool Education; *Screening Tests; *Test Validity
Identifiers: *Davis Observation Checklist for Texas

EJ532494 EC614849
Young Children at Their Best: Linking Play to Assessment and Intervention.
Bufkin, Linda J.; Bryde, Suzanne M.
TEACHING Exceptional Children, v29 n2 p50-53 Nov-Dec 1996
ISSN: 0040-0599
Language: English
Document Type: JOURNAL ARTICLE (080); TEACHING GUIDE (052)
Journal Announcement: CIJMAR97
Target Audience: Teachers; Practitioners
This article provides strategies that early childhood special educators can use to incorporate the learning of specific skills into a variety of developmentally appropriate play activities for children with disabilities. The development of individualized education programs that incorporate play as a framework for intervention is discussed.
Descriptors: *Disabilities; Early Childhood Education; *Early Intervention; *Individualized Education Programs; *Play; *Skill Development; *Student Evaluation; Young Children
Identifiers: Developmentally Appropriate Programs

EJ514764 EC612387
Intervention Strategies for Infants with Prenatal Drug Exposure.
Cole, Jean Gardner
Infants and Young Children, v8 n3 p35-39 Jan 1996 ISSN: 0896-3746
Language: English
Journal Announcement: CIJAPR96
The identification of clusters of behavior that are commonly seen in infants with prenatal drug exposure is discussed, as are intervention techniques that have been successful in hospital and home programs. Reading behavioral cues, modifying the environment, and providing support for the infant's attempts at self-regulation are suggested.
Descriptors: *Behavior Patterns; *Clinical Diagnosis; Cocaine; *Congenital Impairments; Disability Identification; *Drug Abuse; *Early Intervention; Heroin; Home Programs; Hospitalized Children; Hospitals; Infant Behavior; Infants; Parent Child Relationship; *Prenatal Influences

EJ511911 EC612671
The Early Screening Project for Young Children with Behavior Problems.
Feil, Edward G.; And Others
Journal of Emotional and Behavioral Disorders, v3 n4 p194-202,213 Oct 1995
ISSN: 1063-4266
Language: English
Journal Announcement: CIJFEB96
A functional screening and identification system for behavior problems among preschool children, ages 3 through 5, was assessed with 2,853 children from regular and special education preschool and kindergarten classrooms in 8 states. The Early Screening Project procedure was found to provide reliable, accurate, and cost- effective screening.
Descriptors: *Behavior Disorders; *Behavior Rating Scales; Concurrent Validity; *Disability Identification; Kindergarten; Preschool Education; *Screening Tests; Student Evaluation; Test Reliability; Test Validity

EJ527663 EC614197
Early Detection and Prevention of Emotional or Behavioral Disorders: Developmental Aspects of Systems of Care.
Forness, Steven R.; And Others
Behavioral Disorders, v21 n3 p226-40 May 1996
ISSN: 0198-7249
Language: English
Document Type: JOURNAL ARTICLE (080); POSITION PAPER (120)
Journal Announcement: CIJDEC96
Problems in early identification of children with emotional or behavioral disorders in current systems of care are discussed along with current methods for early screening. Use of early detection and ongoing assessment of response as a basis for more focused intervention is suggested. Primary and secondary prevention issues are also discussed.
Descriptors: *Behavior Disorders; Delivery Systems; *Developmental Programs; *Disability Identification; Early Childhood Education; *Early Identification; Early Intervention; *Emotional Disturbances; *Prevention; Program Development

EJ527683 EC614268
Early Intervention and Management of Hearing in Infants and Toddlers.
Gatty, Janice C.
Infants and Young Children, v9 n1 p1-15 Jul 1996
ISSN: 0896-3746
Language: English
Journal Announcement: CIJDEC96
This article discusses principles for intervention with young children who have hearing impairments. It covers the nature of hearing loss; diagnosis and types of hearing impairments; sensory aids; and benefits and limitations of different approaches including the auditory-verbal, auditory-oral, cued speech, total communication, American Sign Language, and bilingual-bicultural approaches. The need for comprehensive evaluation is stressed.
Descriptors: American Sign Language; Aural Learning; Bilingual Education; Clinical Diagnosis; Disability Identification; Early Childhood Education; *Early Intervention; Evaluation Methods; *Hearing Impairments; *Language Acquisition; Manual Communication; Oral Communication Method; Sensory Aids; Severity (of Disability); *Symptoms (Individual Disorders); Total Communication

EJ514761 EC612384
The Micropremie: Infants with Birth Weight Less than 800 Grams.
Goldson, Edward
Infants and Young Children, v8 n3 p1-10 Jan 1996
ISSN: 0896-3746
Language: English
Document Type: JOURNAL ARTICLE (080); POSITION PAPER (120)
Journal Announcement: CIJAPR96
Outcomes for infants with birth weights less than 800 grams, consequences for their families, and implications for primary care providers are considered. Early identification of difficulties, such as disorders of sensory integration and learning disabilities, and early intervention are advocated. Follow-up when the child is of school age is also addressed.
Descriptors: Birth Weight; *Child Development; Child Health; *Disability Identification; *Early Intervention; Family Relationship; Incidence; Learning Disabilities; Neonates; Perceptual Impairments; *Premature Infants; Sensory Integration
Identifiers: *Early Identification

EJ521562 EC613351
Augmenting Traditional Assessment and Information: The Videoshare Model.
Guidry, Jean; And Others
Topics in Early Childhood Special Education, v16 n1 p51-65 Spr 1996
Theme issue: Innovations in Assessment Practice.
ISSN: 0271-1214
Language: English
Journal Announcement: CIJAUG96
This article reviews literature on the use and effectiveness of video assessment of young children with disabilities. It describes how the Videoshare model utilizes video records to provide graphic descriptions that can supplement traditional assessment measures. The results of surveys evaluating families', teachers', and other Child Study Team members' satisfaction with video assessment are reported.
Descriptors: *Disabilities; *Evaluation Methods; Models; Parent Attitudes; Participant Satisfaction; Preschool Education; *Student Evaluation; Student Records; Teacher Attitudes; *Videotape Recordings
Identifiers: *Videoshare Model

EJ522829 EC613467
A "Can Do" Inventory for 3-Year-Olds: Preschool-Referenced Assessment.
McCormick, Linda; Noonan, Mary Jo
TEACHING Exceptional Children, v28 n4 p4-9 Sum 1996
ISSN: 0040-0599
Language: English
Journal Announcement: CIJSEP96
Target Audience: Practitioners
The Preschool Referenced Assessment process, intended to link ecological and judgment-based assessment to instructional planning for young children with disabilities in inclusive settings, is described, including instructions for use of assessment forms and development of goals and objectives for the child's Individualized Education Program.
Descriptors: Check Lists; *Diagnostic Teaching; *Disabilities; Evaluation Methods; *Inclusive Schools; Individualized Education Programs; *Instructional Development; Preschool Education; Questionnaires; *Student Educational Objectives; *Student Evaluation

ED399742 EC305081
Early Intervention/Early Childhood Special Education: Recommended Practices.
Odom, Samuel L.; McLean, Mary E.
1996; 448p.
ISBN: 0-89079-648-3
Available From: PRO-ED, 8700 Shoal Creek Blvd., Austin, TX 78757-6897 ($36).
Document Not Available from EDRS.
Language: English
Document Type: BOOK (010); COLLECTION (020); NON-CLASSROOM MATERIAL (055)
Geographic Source: U.S.; Texas
Journal Announcement: RIEFEB97
Target Audience: Practitioners
This book's 15 chapters elaborate on specific educational practices in early intervention and early childhood special education, recommended by a task force of the Council for Exceptional Children's Division of Early Childhood. The selected practices were identified through a process involving analysis of expert opinions, professional consensus, state-level consensus, and national validation. Chapter titles and authors are: (1) "Establishing Recommended Practices in Early Intervention/Early Childhood Special Education" (Mary E. McLean and Samuel L. Odom); (2) "Assessment for Early Intervention: Emerging Themes and Practices" (John T. Neisworth and Stephen J. Bagnato); (3) "Family Participation" (Lisbeth J. Vincent and Mary E. McLean); (4) "Development and Implementation of Individualized Family Service Plans (IFSPs) and Individualized Education Programs (IEPs); Opportunities for Empowerment" (Vickie P. Turbiville and others); (5) "The Widespread Adoption of Service Delivery Recommendations: A Systems Change Perspective" (Phillip S. Strain and others); (6) "General Curriculum and Intervention Strategies" (Mark Wolery and Diane M. Sainato); (7) "Promoting the Cognitive Competence of Young Children with or at Risk for Developmental Disabilities" (Carl J. Dunst and others); (8) "Indicators of Quality in Communication Intervention" (Howard Goldstein and others); (9) "Strategies for Promoting Social Interaction and Emotional Development of Infants and Young Children with Disabilities and Their Families" (Mary A. McEvoy and Samuel L. Odom); (10) "Intervention Strategies To Promote Motor Skills" (Rebecca R. Fewell); (11) "Interventions To Promote Adaptive Behavior Skills" (Eva M. Horn); (12) "Transition" (Mary Beth Bruder and Lynette Chandler); (13) "Early Childhood Education of Children Who Are Gifted" (Stephen W. Stile); (14) "Personnel Preparation in Early Education and Intervention: Recommended Preservice and Inservice Practices" (Patricia S. Miller and Vicki D. Stayton); and (15) "Program Evaluation" (Scott Snyder and Robert Sheehan). An appendix lists all 417 recommended practices.
Descriptors: Adaptive Behavior (of Disabled); Cognitive Development; Communication Skills; Curriculum Development; Delivery Systems; *Disabilities; *Early Childhood Education; *Early Intervention; *Educational Practices; Educational Quality; *Educational Strategies; Emotional Development; Evaluation Methods; Family Involvement; *Gifted; Individualized Education Programs; Individualized Family Service Plans; Infants; Interpersonal Competence; Motor Development; Perceptual Motor Learning; Preschool Curriculum; Program Evaluation; Student Evaluation; Systems Approach; Teacher Education; Teaching Methods; Transitional Programs; Young Children
Identifiers: *Council for Exceptional Children

EJ522856 EC613494
A Performance/Competence Model of Observational Assessment.
Westby, Carol E.; And Others
Language, Speech, and Hearing Services in Schools, v27 n2 p144-56 Apr 1996
ISSN: 0161-1461
Language: English
Journal Announcement: CIJSEP96
Target Audience: Practitioners
This article describes an observational assessment procedure designed for infants, toddlers, and preschool children. The procedure is intended to link assessment with intervention by determining what supports and what compromises a child's performance, through a holistic team assessment involving a speech-language pathologist, motor specialist, and developmental specialist.
Descriptors: *Communication Disorders; *Diagnostic Teaching; *Early Intervention; *Evaluation Methods; Holistic Approach; Infants; Interdisciplinary Approach; Models; Observation; Preschool Children; Preschool Education; Student Evaluation; Teamwork; Toddlers

EJ514763 EC612386
Integrated Treatment Approaches for Young Children with Multisystem Developmental Disorder.
Wieder, Serena
Infants and Young Children, v8 n3 p24-34 Jan 1996
ISSN: 0896-3746
Language: English
Document Type: JOURNAL ARTICLE (080); POSITION PAPER (120)
Journal Announcement: CIJAPR96
An approach to the diagnosis of pervasive developmental disorders is presented that considers the difficulties in relationships and communication secondary to sensory and motor processing deficits. These difficulties are conceptualized as Multisystem Developmental Disorder (MSDD), and case vignettes illustrate typical patterns of MSDD and intervention options.
Descriptors: *Behavior Patterns; Case Studies; *Clinical Diagnosis; Cognitive Processes; Communication Skills; *Disabilities; Disability Identification; *Early Intervention; Family Involvement; Interpersonal Relationship; Sensory Integration; *Symptoms (Individual Disorders); Young Children Identifiers: *Multisystem Developmental Disorder; *Pervasive Developmental Disorders

EJ527673 EC614258
Child Development Days: A New Approach to Screening for Early Intervention.
Wright, Arlene; Ireton, Harold
Journal of Early Intervention, v19 n3 p253-63 Sum 1995
ISSN: 1053-8151
Language: English
Journal Announcement: CIJDEC96
This article describes a comprehensive approach to identifying children needing evaluation for exceptional education needs while providing support to parents. Professionals from education, public health, social services, and child care collaborate to provide parents with information, observe children in play, and respond to parents' concerns. Parents' concerns and professional observations are used to identify children for further evaluation.
Descriptors: Agency Cooperation; *Disabilities; *Disability Identification; *Early Identification; Early Intervention; *Integrated Services; *Interdisciplinary Approach; Parent Education; Preschool Education; Young Children
Identifiers: *Screening Programs

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