The adage that it takes a village to raise a kid is analogous to the duty of ensuring that complete, consistently prepared special education assessments and their findings help in setting up special education services inside the classroom. All parties involved must know the procedures in place for all kids and when extra personalized efforts are needed (Esposito & Carroll, 2019). All stakeholders involved in the decision-making process for students with disabilities should be included to ensure that each day’s activities for the student include a range of learning opportunities.
To ensure that their children perform to their full potential, families support them during the assessment process and validate the conclusions made by other stakeholders. Moreover, they point out inconsistencies in performance, share information about typical patterns of behavior, and co-evaluate with the team. Assessments are targeted to the child and family’s needs and employ the best, most technically proficient tools and approaches in line with the child’s developmental, physical, sensory, and behavioral requirements. A thorough evaluation covers all relevant learning domains, the degrees of assistance required for success, and the appropriateness of skill application across a range of contexts.
Special education teachers use research-based strategies for escalating intervention to support disabled pupils who do not benefit from a reading intervention that is normally effective. The mCLASS universal screener uses the Dynamic Indicators of Basic Early Literacy Skills (DIBELS) and Text Reading Comprehension (TRC) assessments to track students’ reading skills (Austin & Filderman, 2020). These assessments assist educators in assessing students’ proficiency in key reading skills that special needs children need to master to become proficient readers. The tool breaks down the data, offers personalized evaluation details about each student’s reading development, and monitors the student’s progress throughout the academic year. The results reveal whether a student is on pace to succeed in reading at grade level. The data for each student is used by teachers to inform decisions about instruction in individualized education programs (IEPs).
Early identification of special education needs through assessments is important in designing IEP. The mCLASS tool is beneficial in tracking risk factors for disabled students and making necessary decisions about their education (Austin & Filderman, 2020). Moreover, the tool lets the teachers know exactly which aspect of a skill a student is struggling with and then gives effective lesson plans for each student. Finally, it eliminates the manual assessment process, therefore, saving hours of time and giving instant results and clear next steps for each student.
Using the technological tool, mCLASS for special education assessment also comes with its drawbacks; for example, the tool is very costly, especially because it gets upgraded occasionally. Moreover, using the tool in assessment takes away a lot of time from teaching because it ensures an individualized education program. Finally, collecting more diverse and continuous data poses compliance and data management issues. Students may perceive continuous or frequent assessments to be invasive, making them less likely to finish an evaluation.
When assessments are not coordinated with learning objectives or instructional methodologies, both student motivation and learning decline. For example, if your goal is for students to learn to apply reading skills, but your assessment solely evaluates memory, students will polish their reading skills and be disappointed that the test does not reflect what they learned. Another instance is when your instructional procedures solely revolve around naming symbols, but your evaluation gauges students’ capacity to compare symbols. Students, therefore, do not acquire or practice the comparison and assessment abilities that will be evaluated.
By explaining their kid’s performance in other contexts, suggesting alternatives, activities, and materials for interaction, facilitating child involvement, and interacting with their child in play and caregiving routines, families may improve stakeholder observations on tailoring IEP accordingly. Families are the main teachers to their children; therefore, their contributions to the development of special education programs for disabled children should be highly welcomed by education stakeholders. The families of special children help in the initial assessment of the special education needs of their children.
Austin, C. R., & Filderman, M. J. (2020). Selecting and designing measurements to track the reading progress of students with disabilities. Intervention in School and Clinic, 56(1), 13–21.
Esposito, R., & Carroll, C. (2019). Special educational needs coordinators’ practice in England 40 years on from the Warnock report. Frontiers in Education, 4.
Child Development Institute: The website gives parents the knowledge and resources they require to comprehend their kid or children and to empower them to support each child’s growth into the successful adult they are destined to be.
U.S. Department of Education: The Department of Education provides a list of resources for fulfilling the needs of children with disabilities.
Special Education News: The coverage of this newspaper is special education-related topics for parents and teachers.