You have to know where you are in order to properly map out where you are going. This is why a thorough assessment is critical to developing an effective IEP. Depending on the specific abilities of your child, the type and number of assessments needed for your child may vary but the need for their completeness and accuracy remains a constant. There are a few things every parent or advocate should specifically pay attention to when discussing assessments during the IEP.
- When were the assessments completed? - You want to make sure the assessments are current in order to ensure the relevance of their content. You also want to ensure they assessments were not done in a hurried or rushed fashion because that will also decrease the accuracy of the assessment.
- Who completed the assessments? - You want to make sure that the individual or team of people that conducted the assessment posses the proper qualifications and experience to conduct a thorough assessment.
- How much time was spent on each assessment? - Good, accurate, comprehensive and thorough assessments tend to take time. Time that many teachers and administrators tend not to have. When preparing a plan for the education of your child, it is critical to know the exact level of development and ability your child currently possesses. Two classroom observations totaling 45 mins of assessment time is usually not enough to truly determine where your child stands.