Assessment Tools in Special Needs Education

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According to the VDOE, what are the steps to the Special Education Process?

Virginia Department of Education (2018) mentions the following five steps to the special education process:

  1. identification and referral;
  2. evaluation;
  3. determination of eligibility;
  4. development of IEP (individualized education program);
  5. reevaluation.

What are the types of tests used to assess students to determine if they have a learning disability?

To diagnose learning disability in students, a variety of tests is used. Several examples include Wechsler Preschool and Primary Scale of Intelligence (WPPSI), Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children (WISC), Stanford–Binet Intelligence Scales, Woodcock–Johnson Tests of Cognitive Abilities, and Wide Range Achievement Test 4 (WRAT4).

List the terms often used in assessment reports. From those terms, which do you feel are the most important to share with parents and teachers? Why?

The terms often used in assessment reports include standard score, confidence interval, percentile rank, stanine, age or grade equivalents, sensitivity, specificity, reliability, validity, and standard error of measurement (VDOE, 2018). In my opinion, it is of utmost importance to clearly define o parents and educators such terms as standard score and age or grade equivalents. Frequently, individuals, unaware of the assessment reports structure, do not understand that the suit for special needs in education is approved if the testing results strikingly differ from average peer scores.

What are some important considerations when reviewing assessment results and administration?

According to VDOE (2018), when reviewing administration, it is important to take into account specialties in the environment, time, and materials. Furthermore, nonstandard conditions, outside of the regular test procedure, should be also considered. While interpreting results, one should be aware of additional factors that could influence the performance of the student such as language ability, sensory issues, or cultural differences (VDOE, 2018). Those aspects are to be determined on an individual basis per assessor’s judgment.

Review the list of commonly used assessments used in schools and private clinics. Which of those assessments are used in your school system?

Among the listed assessment tools, my school system primarily uses standardized tests, dynamic assessments, and criterion referenced tools. Once or twice a year, the administrators also conduct curriculum-based measure to evaluate the overall performance of students on a specific skill. Criterion referenced tests are performed by individual instructors voluntarily with the parental consent.


Virginia Department of Education. (2018). Evaluation and eligibility for special education and related services: Guidance document. Web.

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ChalkyPapers. "Assessment Tools in Special Needs Education." May 14, 2022.