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Early Childhood Assessment Professional Interview and Literature Review

You will write a paper consisting of an interview summarized in a report with the purpose of integrating your learning in this course and a review of the relevant research literature. You will interview a professional (e.g., clinician, researcher, educator, etc.) who works with young children with developmental disabilities and is directly involved with assessment. Following the interview, you will appraise their work by comparing the assessment approach they use in their practice/research with what you have learned throughout this course about early childhood assessment and from a review of the related research literature. Your paper should integrate both the content you learned as a result of reading Brassard & Boehm (2007) and other assigned course reading, and information you learned from your review of at least 5 peer-reviewed journal articles. This paper will be a minimum of 10 pages and must be written in the format outlined in the APA 6th Edition Publication Manual (e.g., cover page, headings, margins, etc.).

Your paper should include the following sections:        

  1. Introduction: Discuss the importance of assessment, evaluation, and diagnoses in the field of developmental disabilities, including any challenges and progress in recent years. Outline your decision to focus your interview on the subjects (e.g., the particular type of professional, setting, disability, etc.) of your choice. This section must illustrate both your understanding of the current empirical knowledge from the research literature and your consideration of real-world challenges and opportunities with respect to early identification and assessment of developmental disability. You may choose either to focus your interview/paper on identification and assessment of one type of developmental disability (i.e., the type with whom the professional works) or developmental disabilities as a whole.
  2. Body: Summary of Interview with professional in the field of developmental disabilities: Fully describe this individual’s assessment work and include, if applicable, direct quotes; avoid incorporating your personal opinions at this point. Your evaluation of the professional’s work should cover all of the following areas: procedure/process of history-taking, observations, test selection, considerations of the child’s culture, risk and protective factors, and family history, the contextual appropriateness of assessment, any ethical/legal considerations, and other topics of your interest.
  3. Discussion: This is the point in the paper where theory, praxis and personal views converge. Based on your reading of how identification/assessment of developmental disabilities should be (at least in theory) and your experience interviewing a provider in the field, describe how these two areas converge or diverge by evaluating the professional’s work. Are all ethical, legal and assessment standards followed as they should be? What are some of the challenges for the specific provider, setting, type of disability, instruments, etc.? How can identification/assessment/diagnoses be facilitated? Critique the current status of the field (e.g., over-identification/under-identification, access, etc.) and provide potential solutions for current challenges (instrument psychometrics, cultural bias, test bias, etc.) to accurate identification of developmental disabilities in young children. Discuss how assessment informs decision-making (e.g., intervention, educational placement, services, etc.) for young children.
  4. Conclusion: Describe how the experiences of this course contribute to your involvement (current or future) with assessment in the field of Developmental Disabilities. What do you consider to be the benefits and limitations of identifying and assessing developmental disabilities?

Paper Grading Rubric

0-14 points

15-17 points

18-20 points


Course LO: 1, 2, & 4-5

The Introduction either does not include or includes too few ideas from the course. The overview of issues in the identification/assessment of DD is insufficiently supported by the empirical literature or course text. And/or your description of why you selected the subjects (e.g., the particular type of professional, setting, disability, etc.) is lacking or superficial.

The Introduction includes some ideas from the course and your research. The overview of issues in the identification/assessment of DD and your explanation for selecting the subjects (e.g., the particular type of professional, setting, disability, etc.) are adequately articulated.

The Introduction includes many ideas presented in the course, your own research, and a thoughtful overview of the issues in the identification/assessment of DD including thoughtful reflection about why you selected the subjects (e.g., the particular type of professional, setting, disability, etc.).


Course LO: 1, 2, & 4-5


Your summary of the content of the interview is cursory, incomplete, and/or highly subjective.

Your explanation of your evaluation of the  Professional’s work is limited or cursory. The paper reads more like a list of your own opinions with little to no support for your ideas from the research literature or course readings. Analysis and synthesis are lacking.

No heading or subheading used to structure paper

You provide an adequate summary of the content of the interview. 

You explain your evaluation of the Professional’s work by offering some support for your ideas from the research literature and course readings. Your analysis and synthesis are adequate.

Headings and subheadings are used, but inconsistently or do not improve the flow of the paper

You provide a concise, detailed and objective summary of the content of the interview. 

You thoughtfully evaluate the professional’s work and clearly articulate linkages between the work and your review of the research literature and course readings, including:  examination of both the strengths and challenges of the work, evaluation of the congruence of the work with what you learned in the course and through your research, proposal of feasible and creative solutions to challenges, and appraisal of multiple ways assessments effect decision-making for individuals with developmental disabilities.

Heading and subheadings are used to organize the paper so that it has a clear and logical flow


Course LO: 1, 2, & 4-5

Your conclusions are sparse with less reflection on the personal meaning of what you learned.  Your conclusion offer little depth of thinking in the integration of material from your introduction and the body of the paper and/or do not reflect any integration.

Your conclusions reflect your personal experience and what (content) you learned from the course, as well as adequate integration of material from your Introduction and the body of the paper.

Your conclusion are thoughtful and reflective of your personal learning experience during the course, i.e. what you learned, what surprised you, intrigued you, etc. plus– Your conclusion reflect depth of thinking as you integrate material from your introduction and the body of the paper.


Syntax, Grammar, Spelling

APA format with many errors; fewer than 4 scholarly references

Multiple errors

APA format with few or no errors; 4 or fewer scholarly references 

Several errors

APA format without error; 5 or more scholarly references in addition to the assigned readings

Few or no errors


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