Resources within Reason
Assessment Resources
Camille Catlett September 2018
The DEC Recommended Practices identify assessment as “ the process of gathering information to make decisions .” The document goes on to remind us that “ in early intervention and early childhood special education , assessment is conducted for the purposes of screening, determining eligibility for services, individualized planning, monitoring child progress, and measuring child outcomes .” This issue highlights free resources that support learning about and using the recommended assessment practices.
Visit the assessment section of the ECTA RP website to discover a variety of tools to support the use of evidence-based assessment practices. Assessment checklists are available on informed clinical reasoning, engaging families as partners in their child’s assessment, authentic child assessment practices, and build-ing on child strengths practices. Practice guides for families and professionals on these and other topics are available. Each practice guide includes an over-view of the practice, a video clip, an illustrative vignette, suggestions for formative assessment strategies, and additional resources. All resources are available to view or download and some may be viewed on mobile devices.
This online DEC RP module provides an overview of practices that support assessment. In lesson 1, Dr. Jane Squires shares information about what the research says about assessment practices and why the practices are important. Lesson 2 defines assessment, describes the purposes of assessment, and explains the legal requirements of assessment as it pertains to the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). The primary focus of lesson 3 is learning how to use assessment to monitor child progress and evaluate child outcomes. Finally, lesson 4 brings you “Voices from the Field”, where practitioners and family leaders share their expertise and perspectives on using assessment practices. The module includes content, videos, simulations, and additional resources for instructors.
This concept paper highlights specific assessment considerations related to identifying children as developmentally delayed. Cautions related to the use of standardized or norm-referenced assessment tools are offered, as well as discussion of “informed team consensus” and other practices that are consistent with “ authentic, developmentally appropriate, ecologically valid, and culturally responsive ” (p.3) tools and methodologies.
I f you’re looking for excellent video footage that shows what development looks like for children who are developing in a typical sequence and those who aren’t, these are a great instructional resource. Watching each clip and describing what is happening can be an effective way to build both observation and vocabulary skills. Print information accompanies each video and all are available in English and Spanish.
This annotated 10-page collection of assessment resources features evidence sources (e.g., research, position statements), print sources (e.g., articles and chapters), audiovisual sources (e.g., videos, archived webinars), and online sources (e.g., websites, blogs). All resources are readily available and FREE. The age range covered is birth through Grade 3, and specific sections offer resources on observation, child screening, child evaluation/assessment, program evaluation, and specific tools (e.g., ERS, CLASS). Thank you to the Vermont Agency of Education for sponsoring and sharing this resource.
Resources within Reason is a free, bi-monthly, one-way listserv provided by the Division for Early Childhood of the Council for Exceptional Children (DEC). All resources are evidence-based, readily available and free. Resources within Reason may be freely shared or reproduced.  Past issues are available here.

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