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Assessment for ASD Eligibility Determination. The Autism Society. The IDEA Partnership Project (at NASDSE). Jointly Developed By:. With funding from the US Department of Education, Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP).

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Assessment for ASD Eligibility Determination

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Assessment for asd eligibility determination

Assessment for ASD Eligibility Determination

IDEA Partnership

Jointly developed by

The Autism Society

The IDEA Partnership Project (at NASDSE)

Jointly Developed By:

With funding from the US Department of Education, Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP)

Assessment for asd eligibility determination

Development TeamThe following role groups worked together to create the documents and tools for the ASD Assessment for Identification presentation:

  • Behavior Analyst

  • Educational Diagnosticians

  • General Education Administrator

  • Higher Education

  • Occupational Therapist

  • Parents

  • Person on Spectrum

  • Psychologists

  • Social Worker

  • Special Education Administrator

  • Speech Language Pathologist

  • Technical Assistance Providers

IDEA Partnership

Outline for presentation

Outline for Presentation

  • Definitions/foundations

  • Process for determining eligibility

  • Evaluation areas

  • Evaluation outcomes

IDEA Partnership

Definition of assessment

Definition of Assessment

Assessment is an ongoing, comprehensive process used to determine a student’s strengths and challenges in multiple areas

Evaluation may be defined as a specific set of assessments designed to determine eligibility for services under IDEA

IDEA Partnership

Guiding principles of assessment

Guiding Principles of Assessment

  • Each individual has limitless potential

  • Each student has an individual spectrum of characteristics, strengths and challenges that range from mild to severe across various domains

  • Assessment tools should be chosen to gather specific information based on the individual’s characteristics, be appropriate across the spectrum, and across the age-range

IDEA Partnership


Guiding principles of assessment1

Guiding Principles of Assessment

  • Assessment is comprehensive; it goes beyond academics into various domains, such as sensory, social, behavior, and so forth

  • Information, observation, interviews, and interpretation by a skilled multidisciplinary team are each important to the assessment process

  • The essential information in assessment goes beyond the score on a particular assessment measure

IDEA Partnership


Guiding principles of assessment2

Guiding Principles of Assessment

  • Team members should have experience and a broad knowledge of characteristics of ASD, assessment, intervention strategies, and development of program recommendations for students across the spectrum

  • It is important to value the input of all members of the team, including parents/guardians and the student, as appropriate

IDEA Partnership

Educational definition idea 34 cfr 300 8 c 1 i

Educational Definition (IDEA) 34 CFR §300.8(c)(1)(i)

“Autism” means a developmentaldisability significantly affecting verbal and non-verbalcommunication and social interactions, generally evident before age 3,that adversely affects a child’seducational performance.

IDEA Partnership

Communication and social challenges

Communication and Social Challenges

  • Nonverbal & verbal communication

  • Nonverbal

  • Echolalic

  • Initiating and maintaining social interactions

  • Superficially social

  • Active

  • “Little professor” presentation

  • Conveying own thoughts

  • Literalness

  • Hidden curriculum

  • Perspective taking

  • Passive

  • Withdrawn

IDEA Partnership

Adverse effect on educational performance

Adverse Effect on Educational Performance…

  • Academic performance

  • Communication functioning

  • Social functioning

  • Pragmatic language

  • Organizational skills

  • Group work skills

  • Problem solving skills

  • Emotional regulation

  • Hygiene

  • Behavior

  • Attention challenges

  • Daily living skills/adaptive behavior

  • Transition

IDEA Partnership

Educational definition idea 34 cfr 300 8 c 1 i1

Educational Definition (IDEA)34 CFR §300.8(c)(1)(i)

Other characteristics often associated with autism are engagement inrepetitiveactivities and stereotyped movements, resistance to environmental change or change in routine,and unusual responses to sensoryexperiences.

IDEA Partnership

Restricted repetitive and stereotyped patterns of behaviors and interests

Restricted, Repetitive, and Stereotyped Patterns of Behaviors and Interests

  • Repetitive, stereotypic movements

  • Narrow, intense interests

  • Often appear “uncontrollable”

  • Role of the interest: interest; fun; security, comfort; relaxation; stress reduction

  • May change over time

IDEA Partnership

The sensory systems

The Sensory Systems

IDEA Partnership



When you have seen one child with autism, you have seen one child with autism.

Stephen Shore, n.d

IDEA Partnership


Diagnosis vs eligibility process

Diagnosis vs. Eligibility Process

IDEA Partnership

Evaluation procedures 34 cfr 300 304

Evaluation Procedures34 CFR §300.304

(4) ...child is assessed in all areas related to the suspected disability, including, if appropriate, health, vision, hearing, social and emotional status, general intelligence, motor abilities; academic performance, communicative status;

(6) ... evaluation is sufficiently comprehensive to identify all of the child’s special education and related services needs, whether or not commonly linked to the disability category in which the child has been classified.

IDEA Partnership

Areas related to disability

Areas Related to Disability

  • Autism characteristics

  • Academic achievement

  • Adaptive behavior

  • Cognitive

  • Developmental

  • Emotional/behavioral

  • Functional/behavioral

  • Motor

  • Sensory

  • Speech/language/ communication

  • Social/relationship

  • Transition

  • Vocational

IDEA Partnership

Additional requirement

Additional Requirement

  • The IEP Team including parents must review evaluations and information provided by the parents of the child..

    34 CFR §300.305(a)(1)(i)

IDEA Partnership

Myth of medical diagnosis

Myth of “Medical Diagnosis”

“There are no medical tests for diagnosing autism. An accurate diagnosis must be based on observation of the individual’s communication, behavior, and developmental levels.”

Autism Society, n.d.

IDEA Partnership

Evaluation eligibility vs program planning

Evaluation: Eligibility vs. Program Planning

IDEA Partnership

Flow chart

Flow Chart

IDEA Partnership

Screening for asd

Screening for ASD

  • Follow written district procedures

  • Ensure that at least one team member is familiar with characteristics of ASD

  • Avoid unnecessary delays in identification

    Delay in identification = Delay in intervention

    Research shows that the earlier the intervention, the better the outcomes!

    It is never too late!

IDEA Partnership

Components of evaluation

Components of Evaluation

  • Obtaining informed consent

  • Vision/hearing clearance

  • Screening

  • Structured interviews

  • Structured observations

  • Naturalistic observations

  • Developmental history

  • Bio-psychosocial history

  • Previous assessment history

  • Records review

  • Checklists

  • Student assessments

IDEA Partnership

Student centered factors that influence identification

Student-Centered Factors that Influence Identification

  • Delay in assessment/identification

  • Severity

  • Gender

  • Ethnicity and culture

  • Age

  • English language learners

  • Other disorders/co-occurring conditions

IDEA Partnership

Other factors that influence identification

Other Factors that Influence Identification

  • Experience/knowledge of school personnel

  • Local school district resources

  • Geographical region

  • Parent educational level

  • Behaviors that are not consistent across environments

  • Misunderstanding of the characteristics of ASD

IDEA Partnership

Student case study

Student Case Study

  • Questions for Group Discussion:

    • Is there “reason to suspect” the presence of a disability?

    • If yes, what specific areas of student need should be further explored through screening and/or evaluation for eligibility?

IDEA Partnership

A valuable resource

A Valuable Resource

  • Texas Autism Resource Guide for Teaching TARGET)


    • Written for educational professionals and families

    • Available at no cost

    • Provides information on evaluation for identification and programming

    • Provides information on assessment measures

IDEA Partnership


A valuable resource target

A Valuable Resource: TARGET

Offers assessment information in the following areas

Functional Behavior Assessment

Motor Assessment

Sensory Assessment

Social and Relationship Assessment

Speech-Language Assessment

Transition and Vocational Assessment

Other Assessment

  • Autism Screening and Assessment

  • Academic Achievement Assessment

  • Adaptive Behavior Assessment

  • Cognitive Assessment

  • Development Assessment

  • Emotional and Behavioral Assessment

IDEA Partnership

Target myles bock simpson 2001 asperger syndrome diagnostic scale

TARGET(Myles, Bock & Simpson, 2001) Asperger Syndrome Diagnostic Scale

The ASDS is a norm-referenced measure consisting of 50 yes/no items. The ASD yields scores in five areas: cognitive, maladaptive, language, social, and sensorimotor, as well as an Asperger Syndrome Quotient (ASQ). The 5 subtests provide information comparing the behaviors of the individual to the behaviors of individuals diagnosed with Asperger Syndrome. The ASQ indicates the probability of AS. An individual who knows the child or adolescent well may complete the ASDS.

IDEA Partnership

Target summary of screening and diagnostic identification tools

TARGET: Summary of Screening and Diagnostic/Identification Tools

IDEA Partnership

Target research on screening and assessment instruments

TARGET: Research on Screening and Assessment Instruments

IDEA Partnership

Target misconceptions

TARGET: Misconceptions

IDEA Partnership

Target references

TARGET: References

IDEA Partnership

Eligible for idea services

Eligible for IDEA Services

  • Develop IEP

    • Determine strengths and present levels of performance

    • Goals/objectives/services/supports

    • Behavior plans

  • Monitor progress

  • Ensure future evaluation

  • Provide procedural safeguards

IDEA Partnership

Ineligible for idea services

Ineligible for IDEA Services

  • Identify strengths

  • Identify accommodations that can be incorporated into general education

  • Determine resources/recommendations/universal design

  • Consider 504 Plan

  • Monitor student to determine need for additional assessment/evaluation

IDEA Partnership

Reflections questions discussion


IDEA Partnership

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