You are here

The Special Educator's Guide to Assessment
Share

The Special Educator's Guide to Assessment
A Comprehensive Overview by IDEA Disability Category

First Edition
Additional resources:


August 2020 | 504 pages | SAGE Publications, Inc

Special education students often learn about the characteristics of disabilities, but can lack an understanding of the relationship between diagnostic assessment and eligibility for special education services. The Special Educator's Guide to Assessment: A Comprehensive Overview by IDEA Disability Category focuses on the role that assessment plays in the diagnosis of a disability, determination of eligibility for special education services, and education of students with disabilities to provide a meaningful interconnection between assessment concepts and classroom application for teachers.  Authors Tara S. Guerriero, Mary A. Houser, and Vicki A. McGinley want to ensure that future special education teachers have the preparation to provide comprehensive instruction to P-12 students through this text.

While special education teachers are often not the ones conducting comprehensive evaluations, it is paramount that they understand their students’ individual characteristics, and understand how assessment is used to determine diagnosis and eligibility.  Framing the text around The Individuals with Disabilities Act (IDEA) provides students with concrete standards by which all disabilities are evaluated and regulated in our public educational system.

Part I introduces the basic topics of assessment, ethics, and assessment types. Part II moves on to provide diagnostic and eligibility criteria according to IDEA categories that are most commonly diagnosed in an educational setting while Part III describes the criteria for IDEA categories most commonly diagnosed in a medical setting. Features like case studies and sample comprehensive evaluations help bring to life assessment and how it applies in real classrooms. 


 
Preface
 
Acknowledgments
 
About the Authors
 
Part I: An Overview of Assessment in Special Education
 
Chapter 1: Introduction to Special Education History, Legislation, and Consideration for Eligibility
Introduction to the Chapter

 
Introduction to Legislation as it relates to Assessment in Special Education

 
Eligibility Criteria for Special Education Services Under IDEA

 
Special Education Services (IEP and IFSP) and Alternative Plans (Section 504 Service Agreement)

 
Looking Ahead

 
Chapter Summary

 
Apply What You Have Learned

 
 
Chapter 2: Introduction to Assessment and Ethical Considerations
Introduction to the Chapter

 
Purposes of Assessment

 
Multi-Tiered System of Support (MTSS)

 
Response to Intervention (RTI)

 
Progress Monitoring and Benchmarks

 
Considerations for Students With Emotional, Behavioral, and Social Differences During the Assessment Process

 
Considerations for Students From Culturally and Linguistically Diverse (CLD) Backgrounds

 
Ethical Considerations Surrounding Assessment

 
The Importance of Communication Between Home and School During the Assessment Process

 
Chapter Summary

 
Apply What You Have Learned

 
 
Chapter 3: Assessment Types
Introduction to the Chapter

 
Formal and Informal Assessments

 
Norm-Referenced Assessments

 
Criterion-Referenced Assessments

 
Curriculum-Based Assessments

 
Performance-Based and Portfolio Assessments

 
Error Analysis

 
Interview

 
Direct Observation

 
Checklists and Behavior Rating Scales

 
Chapter Summary

 
Apply What You Have Learned

 
 
Chapter 4: Assessment for Diagnosis and Eligibility: Development and Health
Introduction to the Chapter

 
Intelligence

 
Language

 
Social and Emotional Characteristics

 
Health and Medical Status

 
Chapter Summary

 
Apply What You Have Learned

 
 
Chapter 5: Assessment for Diagnosis and Eligibility: Academic Achievement and Behavior
Introduction to the Chapter and Connection to Chapter 4

 
Areas of Academic Achievement

 
Behavior

 
Chapter Summary

 
Apply What You Have Learned

 
 
Part II: Assessment and Diagnosis of Disabilities
 
Chapter 6: Learning Disabilities
Introduction to the Chapter

 
IDEA Definition of Specific Learning Disability

 
Diagnostic Criteria

 
How the Diagnosis Is Made

 
Who Makes the Diagnosis

 
Other Characteristics

 
Case Studies and Extension to Instruction

 
Chapter Summary

 
Apply What You Have Learned

 
 
Chapter 7: Intellectual Disabilities
Introduction to the Chapter

 
IDEA Definition of Intellectual Disability

 
Diagnostic Criteria

 
How the Diagnosis Is Made/Who Makes the Diagnosis

 
Other Areas to Be Assessed

 
Benefits Available to Those With IDs

 
Extension to Instruction

 
Chapter Summary

 
Apply What You Have Learned

 
 
Chapter 8: Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD)
Introduction to the Chapter

 
IDEA Definition of Autism

 
Diagnostic Criteria and Related Characteristics

 
How the Diagnosis Is Made/Who Makes the Diagnosis

 
Other Areas to Be Assessed

 
The Impact of an ASD Diagnosis on the Family

 
Extension to Instruction

 
Chapter Summary

 
Apply What You Have Learned

 
 
Chapter 9: Speech or Language Impairment
Introduction to the Chapter

 
IDEA Definition of Speech or Language Impairment

 
Diagnostic Criteria and Related Characteristics

 
How the Diagnosis Is Made/Who Makes the Diagnosis

 
Other Characteristics

 
Assistive Technology

 
Chapter Summary

 
Apply What You Have Learned

 
 
Chapter 10: Emotional Disturbance
Introduction to the Chapter

 
IDEA Definition of Emotional Disturbance

 
Diagnostic Criteria and Related Characteristics

 
How the Diagnosis Is Made/Who Makes the Diagnosis

 
Other Characteristics

 
Extension to Instruction

 
Chapter Summary

 
Appendix A: Positive Behavior Support Plan

 
 
Part III: Medically Diagnosed Disabilities
 
Chapter 11: Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)
Introduction to the Chapter

 
Types of ADHD

 
IDEA Definition of Other Health Impairment

 
Diagnostic Criteria

 
How the Diagnosis Is Made

 
Who Makes the Diagnosis

 
Other Characteristics

 
Case Studies, Treatment, and Extension to Instruction

 
Chapter Summary

 
Apply What You Have Learned

 
 
Chapter 12: Sensory Impairments (Including Visual Impairment, Hearing Impairment, Deafness, and Deaf-Blindness)
Introduction to the Chapter

 
Hearing Impairment and Deafness

 
Visual Impairment and Blindness

 
Deaf-Blindness

 
Chapter Summary

 
Apply What You Have Learned

 
Appendix A: Functional Vision Evaluation for a Child With More Severe Disabilities

 
Appendix B: Assistive Technology Solutions for Students With Visual Impairments

 
 
Chapter 13: Health-Related Disabilities (Including Other Health Impairments, Orthopedic Impairment, Traumatic Brain Injury, and Multiple Disabilities)
Introduction to the Chapter

 
Other Health Impairments

 
Orthopedic Impairment

 
Traumatic Brain Injury

 
Multiple Disabilities

 
Section 504 and Health-Related Disabilities

 
Chapter Summary

 
Apply What You Have Learned

 
 
Part IV: Making Connections between Diagnosis, Eligibility, and Instruction
 
Chapter 14: Making Connections Between Diagnosis, Eligibility, and Instruction
Introduction to the Chapter

 
Analysis and Interpretation of Assessment Results

 
Planning for Special Education Programming

 
Ongoing Assessment

 
Chapter Summary

 
Apply What You Have Learned

 
 
Name Index
 
Subject Index

I like the idea of various disabilities being addressed and the way the authors have laid that aspect out.

Stephen Byrd, Associate Professor of Education
School of Education, Director of Graduate Studies at Elon University

A chapter on each disability, focused on assessment. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a textbook with that focus.

Veda Jairrels, JD, PhD
Clark Atlanta University

“I’m glad to see a chapter devoted to multiple disabilities.”

Susan M. Bruce, Ph.D., Professor, Department Chair
Boston College

“A comprehensive and valuable guide to assessments for each category of disability.”

Bruce Saddler, Ph.D.
University of Albany

“The authors have thought through the complexity of assessment.  The backgrounds of the authors do suggest that they have brought their vested years of experience and knowledge to this project....I do like the focus on a disability determination approach.  This organization supports the concept of providing thorough assessments in all areas of a suspected disability and would most likely dispel the idea that an assessment for special education determination is not a cookie-cutter approach.”

Deborah W. Hartman
Cedar Crest College, Allentown, PA

“This textbook is a comprehensive resource covering multiple practical aspects regarding student assessment and identification.  The text explores IDEA disability categories against the backdrop of assessment and student needs.  It will help teachers and assessment personnel understand the current federal law(s) regarding special education assessment and identification.”

Donna Brown, Ed.D.
Texas Tech University

I would describe it as somewhat of a cross between an introductory survey of exceptionalities book (because of its emphasis on the characteristics of specific disability groups) and a book on assessment for eligibility.”

Doug Carothers
Florida Gulf Coast University

I would certainly need to see the completed text but based on the Table of Contents I believe the book addresses some important areas that seem to covered somewhat perfunctorily in other texts-disabilities in the context of assessment is one major area of strength as is making connections between diagnosis and instruction.”

John J. DeFrancesco, Ph.D.
American International College

“It is an excellent example of how a text should be written and organized.”

Kelly S. Brooksher, Ed.D.
Georgia Southern University

“The Special Educator's Guide to Assessment presents a clear, easy to follow recipe for comprehension of a complicated area in teacher education for special educators. Explanations of concepts are applied in scenarios and with clear language.”

Dr. Mike Kelly
Dominican College
Key features
Key features & benefits of this text include the following:
  • Provides a comprehensive overview of assessment for special education students so future teachers have the broad overview they need to feel confident in their classrooms
  • Gives context for teacher assessment around eligibility for services and the education of students in classrooms, focusing on assessment as more than a standalone procedure, but one that affects all aspects of a special education class
  • Connects the dots between disability, assessment, diagnosis, eligibility according to IDEA, and special education instruction for students so they see the interaction between all these elements to shape their classrooms
  • In-depth Case Studies and Sample Evaluations provide students with real world examples of assessment as they might encounter it in their classrooms
  • Learning objectives and key terms provide structure for readings
  • Check Your Understanding questions throughout each chapter offer students a chance to assess their comprehension of the readings immediately with brief answers
  • Apply What You Have Learned questions ask students to complete more in-depth activities in the form of longer answers and brief essays to apply their knowledge, with a focus on tools and organizational materials necessary for assessment