1. Such federal laws as Children First Reform, NCLB (No Child Left Behind) and Regulations Governing the Education of LEP/ELLs contributed to the increase in early intervention services since 1960s. NCLB is the main federal law, which influences the education of children when they are in kindergarten till their graduation from high school. Children First Reform aims at helping students to achieve the best results they can. The third federal law regulates parents’ opportunity to withdraw their children from a state-mandated instructional program.
2. When a child is suspected of having a developmental delay, the following areas are evaluated: communication, cognitive, physical, social-emotional, and adaptive development of a child. Communication development is characterized by the ability of a child to use words and understand them. Cognitive development is the ability of a child to solve problems. A child is considered physically developed, when he or she can develop gross motor and fine motor skills. Social-emotional development is the ability of a child to develop social and emotional skills, and adaptive development occurs when a child can acquire different behaviors.
3. The two key components of highly effective assessments are gathering and analyzing information. The analysis of information is important, because it will help to diagnose a child, to develop an intervention program and deliver services and therapy. Gathering of information can be done with the help of observations, checklists and rating scales.
4. The assessment process consists of such mandated steps: referral, screening, full evaluation, determination of eligibility for services, guidance, monitoring and evaluation of program planning. Referrals for evaluation are needed when one has to determine a child’s rate of development. Causes of delays should be determined to find out if a child has to be referred for assessment. A screening, as one of the steps of the assessment process, helps to determine if there is a need for evaluation.