Essential Elements of the Assessment Process

  • Rune J. Simeonsson
  • Donald B. BaileyJr.
Part of the Perspectives in Developmental Psychology book series (PDPS)


The commitment to early intervention for handicapped infants and young children is reflected in the rapid growth of a variety of home- and center-based programs in recent years. Although the need for such programs has been established, documentation has been more difficult to achieve. Central to these problems has been the fact that the assessment instruments and procedures have been less than adequate to meet the unique demands of an immature population with limited functional skills that are often confounded by sensory and motor impairments. The special assessment problems associated with early intevention have been elaborated in a number of contributions to the literature (Bricker, 1978; Simeonsson, Huntington, & Parse, 1980). Although these assessments problems have had a negative effect in complicating the documentation of early intervention effects, they have had a positive effect in highlighting the need for alternative assessment instruments and procedures in broad (Bricker, 1978) as well as specific (Cicchetti & Sroufe, 1976) domains of development. Given this context, the purpose of this chapter is to (a) define the role of assessment with handicapped infants and young children, (b) discuss the particular problem of population variability in assessment, (c) review several models for specifying child characteristics; and (d) propose elements of an assessment approach for describing children in terms of their functional capabilities.


Cerebral Palsy Handicapped Child Child Characteristic Global Index Intentional Communication 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1988

Authors and Affiliations

  • Rune J. Simeonsson
    • 1
  • Donald B. BaileyJr.
    • 1
  1. 1.School of Education and FAMILIES Project, Carolina Institute for Research on Early Education of the Handicapped, Frank Porter Graham Child Development CenterUniversity of North CarolinaChapel HillUSA

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