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Infant Toddler Development Training
Module 5, Lesson 2

Helping Families Prepare for Assessment of Their Child

mother and child playing on the floorHow do you help families prepare for the assessment process? Explaining the steps in that process and what to expect can ally families' concerns and fears. Make sure information about the assessment is complete and accurate and presented in such a way as to maximize understanding. Explanations may need to be given several times and in different formats. Written material following a verbal conference gives the family time to study what was said and process the information. Ask families if they have any questions they would like to see answered during the assessment. Also remember the family has valuable information to share about their child. They know the best time of day for the child, his or her issues with other adults, the best way to interact with the child, the child's likes and dislikes, and other factors that may positively affect the assessment process and gather the best information from the child. Families may choose to be actively involved in the evaluation and assessment process or they may prefer a more passive role. The choice should be up to them.

Sharing Assessment and Evaluation Results with Families

How are assessment and evaluation results shared with families? If families are active participants in the process, it can make sharing information about the results easier. Whatever is shared must be in a format that is useful to the family. Discussions can occur during the process of the assessment and evaluation or a meeting with the family can be held afterwards to discuss the results. Follow up either by phone or in person to answer any questions can also occur and a written report for the family (in their primary language) is vital. As a member of the team, the family needs the same information as other team members. Results of assessments and evaluations should be shared as soon as possible with families.

Culturally Sensitive Assessments and Evaluations

Standardized evaluations and assessments may be culturally incompatible for some families and their children. Are there assessment protocols in the family's primary method of communication? Are the assessments culturally sensitive? For instance, in some countries, like Turkey, young children are held and carried by adults for a much longer time than American babies. A child from that culture may not meet the normal developmental milestone for walking as soon as other children. Many children from Hispanic families are fed by adults long after an Anglo-Euro-American child has begun self feeding.

Reflect back on pages 7-10 of the Resource Bank document, Our Journey with Families: Service Delivery in Natural Environments in Rural Areas

Focus especially on the assessment/evaluation portion. How did the developmental specialist gather important information about Kim? Do you agree with the statement on page 10, "Assessment is intervention."?


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