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Preschool Assessments: Strategies, Tools, and Rating Scales

by | Jan 16, 2024 | Preschool | 0 comments

Building Preschool Assessment Skills

Navigating the realm of preschool assessments can feel overwhelming for newer school psychs or even seasoned psychologists with little preschool experience. What are some strategies school psychs can use to enhance their skills? Try a hands-on learning approach that emphasizes the value of observation and play. Focus on the importance of transdisciplinary assessments, as they provide a holistic understanding of a child’s development. Incorporating team approaches and familiarizing oneself with ordinal scales, particularly those aligned with Piaget’s stages, also enhances the evaluation process.

Preschool Play-based Assessments

Preschool assessments often involve play-based evaluations, where child-led play unveils crucial developmental insights. Observing things such as how the child transitions from one activity to another and peer interactions shield valuable insight into the child’s development. Equally as important is aligning parental feedback with direct observations, ensuring a comprehensive understanding of the child’s abilities.

Which Adaptive Rating Scale Should I Use?

Adaptive rating scales play a pivotal role in understanding a child’s daily functional behaviors. The Adaptive Behavior Assessment System (ABAS-3) is a preferred tool, offering a birth-to-89 age range with a preschool-specific version. The ABAS-3 evaluates conceptual, social, and practical domains, providing standard scores and percentiles. A comprehensive breakdown of each domain, including communication, motor skills, and community use, ensures a thorough assessment. Also popular is the Vineland Adaptive Behavior Scales. This tool focuses on expressive and receptive language skills, daily living skills, socialization, and motor skills. 

Preschool assessments require a multifaceted approach, combining practical experience, observational skills, and reliable assessment tools. By embracing hands-on learning, understanding the nuances of play-based assessments, parent feedback, and using adaptive rating scales, school psychs can enhance their ability to assess and support the developmental needs of young learners.

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