When beginning with a new student, there are two important things you must do. First, pair with your student, as described here. The second is that you must assess!
Unfortunately, formal assessment is frequently left out, especially when teachers are working in the home with the learner. Assessment should be the cornerstone of any choices made pertaining to the skills a learner is taught.
Reasons to Assess
- Indicates and prioritizes what should be taught to your student.
- Helps ensure that you are teaching skills in a developmentally appropriate order.
- Allows you to measure progress.
- Clearly indicates to parents and other professionals the reasons why you are teaching specific skills.
- Ensures that you are teaching your learner at the edge of his/her ability.
Suggestions for Best Practice
- If you’re uncertain about the best assessment to use with your student, contact a supervisor or BCBA for some advice.
- Reasess yearly and before creating IEPs to have an accurate and current representation of the learner’s skill level.
- Compare assessment results with other providers to check for generalization across people.
- Share assessment results with the child’s parents and suggest opportunities for supporting the child’s learning during family activities and daily living.