Infant Toddler Development Training
Module 3, Lesson 4
Evaluation and Assessment Information Needed for Planning Intervention
If the overall evaluation and assessment process is to benefit children, then evaluation and assessment must be linked to the learning experiences and intervention. Multiple sources of data should contribute to the planning of learning experiences and instruction. After it has been determined that a child is eligible for services then information from more informal sources is needed. Of course one of the most important sources of information is the family's concerns and priorities for their child. Information from observations of the child involved in everyday routines, activities and places within the context of natural environments is critical. In addition, information from developmental checklists and rating scales will provide insight into the child's developmental status.
Early Steps requires assessment data from criterion referenced instruments such as the HELP, AEPS, or the ELAP. These instruments tend to yield developmental as well as functional information about the abilities of the child. Information from any one of these instruments is helpful for planning an intervention program. Each assessment instrument yields information that tells the child's strengths and needs in the developmental areas and is easy to translate into program and IFSP objectives. It is up to the Infant Toddler Developmental Specialist (ITDS) to determine how to embed these objectives into everyday routines, activities and places.
Early intervention staff should consider both the developmental and functional perspective in determining needs. Many would say that we need to move away from the developmental perspective towards a more functional perspective that looks at the child's ability to participate in essential daily activities such as communication, personal care, and functioning in natural environments. In addition, objectives should be developmentally appropriate, realistic and achievable.
Parental input in terms of concerns and priorities is critical for identifying functional objectives. Needs such as playing with neighborhood kids, crawling and walking, catching a ball, feeding oneself are all critical functional considerations.
Information from interviews and observations is needed about patterns of interacting socially within the environment. We need to know the nature of child engagement and the child's task persistence as well. Through observational data we can determine a child's interest, preferences, choices and reinforcers in order to incorporate these into the child's goals and objectives and the planning of appropriate functional activities.
Assessment information for planning programs for individual infants and toddlers should be gathered from multiple sources and from multiple perspectives in developing the IFSP.
In Early Steps the information gathered from the arena assessment is used to develop the initial IFSP. However, professionals and families know in working with infants and toddlers with disabilities that gathering information and data is a continuous process. As children make progress, grow and develop, we have to modify and alter our intervention goals and plans.
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