Assessment Terminology

Assessment

 


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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.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 identifying

those infants/children who may be at

risk 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 objectives

from the curriculum that will be taught to the

learner 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.