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

First Edition


August 2020 | 432 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 Summary 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 Ann 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. 


 
Part I: An Overview of Assessment in Special Education
 
Chapter 1: Introduction to Special Education History, Legislation, and Consideration for Eligibility:
Learning Objectives and Key Terms

 
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

 
Apply What You Have Learned

 
 
Chapter 2: Introduction to Assessment and Ethical Considerations
Learning Objectives and Key Terms

 
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 Backgrounds

 
Ethical Considerations Surrounding Assessment

 
The Importance of Home-School Communication During the Assessment Process

 
Procedural Safeguards

 
Apply What You Have Learned

 
 
Chapter 3: Assessment Types
Learning Objectives and Key Terms

 
Introduction to the Chapter

 
Formal and Informal Assessments

 
Norm-Referenced Assessments (Standardized)

 
Criterion-Referenced

 
Curriculum-Based

 
Performance-Based and Portfolio

 
Error Analysis

 
Interviews

 
Direct Observation

 
Checklists/Behavior Rating Scales

 
Apply What You Have Learned

 
 
Chapter 4: Assessment for Diagnosis and Eligibility: Development and History
Learning Objectives and Key Terms

 
Introduction to the Chapter

 
Intelligence

 
Language

 
Social/Emotional Characteristics

 
Health and Medical

 
Apply What You Have Learned

 
 
Chapter 5: Assessment for Diagnosis and Eligibility: Academic Achievement and Behavior
Learning Objectives and Key Terms

 
Introduction to the Chapter and Connection to Chapter 4

 
Areas of Academic Achievement and Language

 
Behavior

 
Apply What You Have Learned

 
 
Part II: Assessment and Diagnosis of Disabilities
 
Chapter 6: Learning Disabilities
Learning Objectives and Key Terms

 
Introduction to the Chapter

 
IDEA Definition of Specific Learning Disabilities

 
Diagnostic Criteria

 
How Diagnosis is Made/Who makes the diagnosis

 
Other Characteristics

 
Case Study and Extension to Instruction

 
Apply What You Have Learned

 
 
Chapter 7: Intellectual Disabilities
Learning Objectives and Key Terms

 
Introduction to the Chapter

 
IDEA Definition of Intellectual Disabilities

 
Diagnostic Criteria

 
How Diagnosis is Made/Who makes the diagnosis

 
Other Areas to be Assessed

 
Case Study

 
Extension to Instruction

 
Apply What You Have Learned

 
 
Chapter 8: Autism Spectrum Disorders
Learning Objectives and Key Terms

 
Introduction to the Chapter

 
IDEA Definition of Autism

 
Diagnostic Criteria and Related Characteristics

 
How Diagnosis is Made/Who makes the diagnosis

 
Other Areas to be Assessed

 
Impact of ASD Diagnosis on the Family

 
Case Study: Joey

 
Extension to Instruction

 
Apply What You Have Learned

 
 
Chapter 9: Speech or Language Impairment
Learning Objectives and Key Terms

 
Introduction to the Chapter

 
IDEA Definition of Speech or Language Impairment

 
Diagnostic Criteria and Related Characteristics

 
How Diagnosis is Made/Who makes the diagnosis

 
Other Characteristics

 
Case Study

 
Extension to Instruction

 
Apply What You Have Learned

 
 
Chapter 10: Emotional Disturbance
Learning Objectives and Key Terms

 
Introduction to the Chapter

 
IDEA Definition of Emotional Disturbance

 
Diagnostic Criteria and Related Characteristics

 
How Diagnosis is Made/Who makes the diagnosis

 
Other Characteristics

 
Case Study

 
Extension to Instruction

 
Chapter Summary

 
Apply What You Have Learned

 
Appendix A: Positive Behavior Support Plan

 
 
Part III: Medically-Diagnosed Disabilities
 
Chapter 11: Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)
Learning Objectives and Key Terms

 
Introduction to the Chapter

 
IDEA Definition (Other Health Impairment)

 
Diagnostic Criteria

 
How Diagnosis is Made/Who makes the diagnosis

 
Other Characteristics

 
Case Studies, Treatment, and Extension to Instruction

 
Apply What You Have Learned

 
 
Chapter 12: Sensory Impairments (including Visual Impairment, Hearing Impairment, Deafness, Deaf-Blindness)
Learning Objectives and Key Terms

 
Introduction to the Chapter

 
Hearing Impairment/Deafness

 
Visual Impairment

 
Deaf-Blindness

 
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
Learning Objectives and Key Terms

 
Introduction to the Chapter

 
Other Health Impairments

 
Orthopedic Impairment

 
Traumatic Brain Injury

 
Multiple 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
Learning Objectives and Key Terms

 
Introduction to the Chapter

 
Analysis and Interpretation of Assessment Results

 
Planning for Special Education Programming

 
Ongoing Assessment

 
Apply What You Have Learned

 

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

“This is a book about assessment that is different in that it has a chapter on each disability that is focused on assessment issues for that disability."

OR

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.”

OR

“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

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