Assessment Terminology

Assessment 
The process of using instruments (surveys, interviews, questionnaires) or, in some cases, direct observation, to obtain information about a child’s performance and behavioral strengths and challenges to inform educational and intervention decision making. 

 

Reference:       Organization for Autism Research.  (2008).  Life Journey Through Autism: A Parent’s Guide to Assessment.  Research Autism.  Retrieved on January 20, 2014, from http://www.

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researchautism.org/resources/reading/documents/ AssessmentGuide.pdf.

Evaluate
To compare the outcomes (or results) of an assessment relative to other children, to a predefined expectation, or to previous outcomes for an individual child.  Reference:       Organization for Autism Research.  (2008).

 Life Journey Through Autism: A Parent’s Guide to Assessment.  Research Autism.  Retrieved on January 20, 2014, from http://www.researchautism.org/resources/reading/documents/ AssessmentGuide.

pdf.

Measure
An instrument used during an assessment (like a survey, interview, or questionnaire).Reference:       Organization for Autism Research.  (2008).  Life Journey Through Autism: A Parent’s Guide to Assessment.  Research Autism.  Retrieved on January 20, 2014, from http://www.

researchautism.org/resources/reading/documents/ AssessmentGuide.pdf.

Screening
a brief assessment aimed at identifyingthose infants/children who may be atrisk for developmental delays due to differences as compared with standard expectations for children of the same age range and cultural background.Reference:  Hall, L.J.

 (2009).  Autism Spectrum Disorders: From Theory to Practice.  Upper Saddle River, NJ:  Pearson Education.

Curriculum-based Assessment
Involves selecting and measuring objectivesfrom the curriculum that will be taught to thelearner with autism spectrum disorders.

 Reference:       Hall, L.J.  (2009).  Autism Spectrum Disorders: From Theory to Practice.

 Upper Saddle River, NJ:  Pearson Education.

Criterion-based Assessment
An assessment that measures what a child is able to do or the skills that he or she has, not in comparison to the performance of other children. 

 
Reference:  

     Organization for Autism Research.  (2008).

 Life Journey Through Autism: A Parent’s Guide to Assessment.  Research Autism.  Retrieved on January 20, 2014, from http://www.researchautism.org/resources/reading/documents/ AssessmentGuide.pdf.

Formal Assessment
Administering norm-referenced standardized tests that are useful to identify global strengths and concerns. 

 

 Reference:       Organization for Autism Research.  (2008).  Life Journey Through Autism: A Parent’s Guide to Assessment.

 Research Autism.  Retrieved on January 20, 2014, from http://www.researchautism.org/resources/reading/documents/ AssessmentGuide.pdf.

Informal Assessment
Nonstandardized forms of assessment that can look at how a child learns; there is flexibility in their administration. Reference:       Organization for Autism Research.

 (2008).  Life Journey Through Autism: A Parent’s Guide to Assessment.  Research Autism.  Retrieved on January 20, 2014, from http://www.researchautism.org/resources/reading/documents/ AssessmentGuide.

pdf.

Norm-Referenced Assessment
A standardized test or assessment that compares a child’s performance to the performance of peers the same age. This type of assessment can tell you how your child compares to other children the same age or in his or her grade. 

 

 Reference:       Organization for Autism Research.  (2008).

 Life Journey Through Autism: A Parent’s Guide to Assessment.  Research Autism.  Retrieved on January 20, 2014, from http://www.researchautism.org/resources/reading/documents/ AssessmentGuide.

pdf.

Mean
The average score; all scores from a measure are added and divided by the total number of scores. 

 

 Reference:       Organization for Autism Research.  (2008).  Life Journey Through Autism: A Parent’s Guide to Assessment.

 Research Autism.  Retrieved on January 20, 2014, from http://www.researchautism.

org/resources/reading/documents/ AssessmentGuide.pdf.

Norms
A comparison score that is used to indicate “normal” performance on an assessment. 

 

 Reference:       Organization for Autism Research.  (2008).  Life Journey Through Autism: A Parent’s Guide to Assessment.

 Research Autism.  Retrieved on January 20, 2014, from http://www.researchautism.org/resources/reading/documents/ AssessmentGuide.pdf.

Standardized
An assessment developed by experts that is administered according to specific guidelines. The assessment must be used specifically as it was designed, or the results are not valid.

 

 
 Reference:  

     Organization for Autism Research.  (2008).  Life Journey Through Autism: A Parent’s Guide to Assessment.  Research Autism.  Retrieved on January 20, 2014, from http://www.researchautism.

org/resources/reading/documents/ AssessmentGuide.pdf.

Standard Deviation
A standard unit of measure that pinpoints more exactly how far a standard score falls from the mean (average score).

This unit of measure is frequently used in IQ testing. 

 

Reference:       Organization for Autism Research.  (2008).  Life Journey Through Autism: A Parent’s Guide to Assessment.  Research Autism.  Retrieved on January 20, 2014, from http://www.researchautism.org/resources/reading/documents/ AssessmentGuide.

pdf.

Standard Scores
A score that provides information about how a child has performed using a predetermined unit of measurement. The score is obtained from the mean and the standard deviation. Just as a mile is a standard unit of measure for distance, the standard score is a specific unit of measure in assessments.

 

 

 Reference:       Organization for Autism Research.  (2008).  Life Journey Through Autism: A Parent’s Guide to Assessment.  Research Autism.

 Retrieved on January 20, 2014, from http://www.researchautism.org/resources/reading/documents/ AssessmentGuide.pdf.