Parents Participation in Assessment process
Regardless of the age of the child, we have two major responsibilities in the area of assessment. The first is to actively participate in making decisions about which types of information are needed. The second is to assist the assessment professional in obtaining the most comprehensive information about our child, the visual condition, and the changes that we have seen over the years in our child’s functioning.
Administrators Initiatives in intervention programs for young children have strongly recommended that parents be involved in the assessment process. This is to contribute toward a more accurate diagnosis of and prescription for the developmental progress of the child. Child assessment has been an area in which the specialist retains strong professional control but a focus on parental involvement in assessment today is timely for ethical, theoretical and practical considerations where the parental role can be expanded.
It is extremely helpful to provide the assessment professional with specific questions or concerns that we may have about our child. For example, do we feel that the developments of daily living skills are not progressing as rapidly as we had hoped? Are we pleased about the way our child interacts with adults, but concerned about social interactions with peers? Do we see signs of increasing social withdrawal as your child become older? Specific questions can assist in planning the assessment not only in terms of types of evaluations requested, but also in the selection of a specific test to be used.
Schools gave students and their parent’s useful and relevant information about the assessment processes they used. Students and parents understood how the school was working to meet the child’s interests, aspirations and learning needs. It is important the partnership between family and school to enhance through common understanding about the school’s assessment processes.
It is often difficult for us, parents to see the advantages of formalized assessment in addition to that conducted in the classroom. The assessments are sometimes seen as a way to add undesired additional incapacities and part of a biased process that further increases the isolation of our child. It is important that teachers make a realistic appraisal of the advantages of the assessment process. Although parents often fear the possibility of the identification of additional incapacities, a more critical fear is that additional disabilities or specific needs will NOT be identified. The key to finding the strategies is quality assessment data that will identify specific strengths and needs as well as the presence of additional incapacities. Quality assessment should result in instructional changes. Whether these changes are based upon an objective statement of strengths and needs or additional incapacities, the ultimate outcome should be better instruction for our child.
Assessment should not be an evil to be avoided but an integral part of our child’s instructional program. Our responsibility as a parent is to ensure as much as possible that it is a quality assessment. What would be considered a quality assessment? Well, we have our different views in looking into a quality assessment but we could be considered that the individual completing the assessment has received information about the visual conditions as well as the educational implications, reports identifies specific strength and needs of the students. Recommendations are made to ensure continued growth toward independence for our child. Continuous improvement of our child may result into difficulty which is associated with the adjustments that are made in the assessment process. Both inadequate as well as excessive adjustments can make assessments less meaningful. The goal of all involved in the assessment process is to determine if changes can be made in a meaningful manner and to ensure that such adjustments are made appropriately.
To have a mutual understanding and combined goal for the child’s development, child assessment information must be made clear and meaningful to teacher and parents. Teacher need to help parents understand what the assessment information means about their child’s learning and development. Parents need to help teacher understand assessment information in bright of their observations of their child at home and in other settings. This is the ways to ensure that child development information is meaningful to parents for the purpose in helping the parents understand what assessment is, and that the goal of assessment is to support a child’s progress by informing the teacher and parent about different approaches to enhancing their child’s learning and development and parents to understand what the next stage of learning will be, so they can anticipate and look to support that next stage.
“Working with teachers in early childhood education for the benefit of all children often followed on from parents working with teachers for the benefit of their own child.”