Assessment is crucial to meeting the needs of any child and for children on the spectrum it is even more important as educational targets should be based on an accurate assessment profile. There is no standard educational assessment or approach as any strategies put in place should consider a child’s individual learning style and impact of their autism as well as environmental factors, otherwise the outcome could be inadequate or even detrimental. situation
Individual assessment of children with ASD should be based on careful observation and identification of areas which require further investigation. Discussion with parents is vital, as their perspectives and difficulties at home may differ considerably from that of adults in the education setting. Other professionals may be involved to augment the information gathered as collaboration is necessary for the process to develop. The analysis of this information can then be compiled to form a holistic profile. The staged intervention process to identification, assessment and review, is embedded in sound educational practice. Staff plan strategies based on assessment, apply them and review the results in terms of progress made by the child or young person.A child in my care, ‘John’, was noted at approximately 2 years of age to be non-verbal. His play was solitary and repetitive. A stage 1 Support Plan was put in place to encourage him to develop sharing, turn-taking and simple co-operative play. He was encouraged to use early communication skills, such as pointing, gesturing and any attempts at spoken language. Following further concerns regarding his lack of communication skills he was referred to a Speech Therapist and he and his mother attended ‘Learning to Talk’ programme.