Jamal is a 22-month-old toddler in your home childcare center. He has been in your center for 2 weeks and you have some concerns about his development. His mother reports that the pregnancy and birth were non-eventful and that he has developed typically. Jamal’s mother stayed home with him until 2 weeks ago when she took a full-time clerical job. Your concerns about Jamal are two-fold: he is not walking yet and he only says three words consistently: mama, bye-bye, and no
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My recommendation for assessing Jamal who is a 22 month old toddler that he is not walking and he says a few words such as bye-bye, mama and no. These observations have brought concerns to me that Jamal needs assessing. I do not think that a standardized test would be appropriate for Jamal’s age who is a 22-month-old toddler. According to Guddemi (2003),“ standardized assessments are not as accurate, valid, and reliable for young children as they are for older children, they should not be used solely to make high stakes decisions until grade 3 and preferably not until grade 4 (Shepard et al., 1998)” (Guddemi, 2003, p.7). When it comes to infants and toddlers, it is not easy to get accurate, consistent and positive results from a standardized test. Toddlers’ attention span is not great. Toddlers are all different and their developmental stages are not the same. Jamal could just start walking after 22 months and his language development can start blossoming. Therefore, it would be hard to stress to Jamal’s mom that there is a major issue with Jamal’s developmental progress. However, in Jamal’s situation, some tests can be used to evaluate the status of Jamal’s development. I would use the Gesell Developmental Schedules and the Ounce Scale tests to assess Jamal. According to Wortham (2012), “Gesell Developmental Schedules are designed to detect infants and toddlers who were delayed in development and might need special services. The Ounce Scale (Meisels, Marsden, Dombro, Weston, & Jewkes, 2003) is another developmental scale used with children from birth to 3.6 years old, the Ounce Scale is organized around six developmental domains and helps parents observe developmental milestones” (Wortham, 2012, p. 55). I would ask Jamal’s mom if we could discuss some concerns I have seen with Jamal (speaking to Jamal’s mom in a caring and concern voice). I would tell her about my observations of Jamal that I have noticed, for example, I noticed that he is 22 months and he is not walking and he says just a few words. The words he says is bye-bye, mama and no. I would ask her if she has notice the same observations that I just told her about Jamal. I would ask her if Jamal’s pediatrician has noticed the same observations about her son. If not I would suggest that the mom checked with his doctor and I will ask permission if a professional and I could assess Jamal by using the Gesell Developmental Schedules and the Ounce Scale tests. I would explain to Jamal’s mom in detail about the tests in a way she can understand (no jargon). I would stress to the parent that we are both in this together and we must be partners in helping her son reach his developmental potential.
My recommendation for assessing Jamal would be the Ages and Stages Questionnaire (Third Edition) (ASQ-3) (Squires and Bricker, 2009) which uses parental reporting. Then I would recommend the Denver II (Frankenburg, Dodds, Archer, Shapiro, and Brensnick, 1990). It is a simple screening instrument designed to identify children who are likely to have significant delays and need early identification and intervention.
A standardized test would be appropriate after the use of an assessment considering what types of learning experiences Jamal has encountered at home with mom. Many types of standardized tests are used for use with infants and young children (Wortham, S.C, 2012). These tests are psychological and measure facets of abilities (Wortham, S.C, 2012). In our reading, the author uses the McCarthys Scales of Children’s Abilities as an example. This standardized test has indexes for verbal, perceptual-performance, quantitative, cognitive, memory and motor abilities.
Advantages of standardized tests are they are carefully designed and named before they are used with children, and they can give accurate information about a student’s relative strengths and weaknesses across content areas. A disadvantage of a standardized test is that the scores are determined by a standard set by what someone else says a “normal child” should comprehend or be doing.
To be honest I have an issue with standardized tests because they don’t determine the overall success of any one child. A standardized test can’t determine whether or not a child will grow into a productive citizen. The state of Ohio will be holding children back in the third grade next school year if a standardized reading exam is failed by the student. We live in a world today where children are neglected, abused, have learning disabilities and other challenges that are not being recognized or addressed, and those things affect the learning potential of the child in the classroom.
I work in a daycare, and parents of today are easily offended when addressing developmental issues. When addressing concerns of a child some parents feel as though teachers are being judgmental or just in their business. Nonetheless, I would tell Jamal’s mom that sometimes children have a hard time adjusting to new environments when the parent(s) is all he/she knows. I would let her know that I am concerned because when he is in my care he says only three words, “no, bye-bye, and no. I would ask Jamal’s mom if he walks or makes attempts to cruise around the furniture at home, and I would also ask how he expresses the things that he wants. I would let her know that there is a questionnaire I think would be great for her to fill out concerning his developmental progress, and I would be more than happy to assist her.
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