A psychological evaluation includes testing domains of human development and learning (i.e., cognitive, achievement, adaptive behavior, emotional, social, behavior, language, and perceptual-motor) that respect diversity of student strengths, needs, learning styles, and cultures.
Standardized instruments provide information about the student’s skills and abilities compared to those of hearing peers. If a student is delayed in any area, a test of intellectual functioning may be conducted as part of the evaluation, if deemed appropriate by the team. Standardized instruments provide information about the student’s skills and abilities compared to those of hearing peers. It is important to consider the results of a standardized test in conjunction with other evaluation information (e.g., criterion-referenced educational evaluation, portfolio educational evaluation) when developing a plan to support the student in order to have a complete picture of the whole person’s abilities.
If a student is delayed in any area, a test of intellectual functioning may be conducted as part of the evaluation, if deemed appropriate by the team. An educational evaluation of visual perceptual skills is of great significance for a student who relies heavily on the visual channel for communication. Areas evaluated may include visual discrimination, visual memory, visual-motor integration, visual figure-ground, visual closure, and spatial relations.
Adaptive behavior rating scales may be used for students who are D/HH for initial eligibility referrals, as well as for those who are very young or have multiple disabilities. Areas evaluated may include self-help skills, daily living skills, independent functioning, and communication and social skills.
Communication problems can impact personality development and social/emotional adjustment. Social-emotional maturity is a major component of the educational evaluation process for a student who is D/HH because emotional factors have a direct influence on the learning behavior. Social-emotional evaluations address self-image, social/interpersonal skills, emotional adjustment, and lifestyle expectations.
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- IQ/cognitive functioning should be determined thoughtfully and on a case-by-case basis, with decisions guided by the level of a student’s language development. Regardless, measurement of a student’s language-based processing provides a helpful indicator of expected academic achievement.
- If a student is referred for a comprehensive motor evaluation, it should be conducted by an occupational therapist or a physical therapist. Areas evaluated typically include both fine- and gross-motor skills.
- Screening for Usher Syndrome is strongly recommended if one or more of the following symptoms are noted: balance problems, decreased night vision, or gradual loss of visual fields.