The best measures used in the assessment of students with behavioral and emotional disabilities involve the process of obtaining information about the students with the perceived problem. The collected information allows teachers, parents, and other professionals to make decisions that are well informed about the education of particular children. The assessment measures taken need to be comprehensive enough and with value to allow students get access to educational opportunities that are appropriate. The focus on the assessment should be on; first, determine whether the students are eligible for the special education program and the services that are related under the behavioral and emotional disabilities (Reid, Gonzalez, Nordness, Trout, & Epstein, 2004). Second, involves the development of the individualized education program for the students, and the third is the continuous monitoring and measuring of the performance of the students. Since the assessment measures give the determining power to teachers and parents to determine the disability of the student's assessment decision making needs to be appropriate. It should be valid and comprehensive with the help of different information sources including rating scales, evaluation measures, observations, and normative data.
The determination of the eligibility of the students for the special education program and the services related to the behavioral and emotional disabilities have long-term vocational, social, and educational effects. It then requires that the decisions leading to this determination truly should reflect the condition disabling the students but not the insensitivity or intolerance to the individual differences, temporary situational factors, or even unrelated disabilities impact. It is then essential that the multidisciplinary team get involved in determining the eligibility for the special education and the services needed (Greenberg, Weissberg, O'brien, Zins, Fredericks, Resnik, & Elias, 2003). There is a need to engage the psychologist for the school, the teacher, the school social worker, support services staff for the school, as well as the input of the parent. It ensures all other factors such as developmental history for the student, health and medical history, family dynamics among other factors are considered in the assessment.
After the establishment of the eligibility of the student for the special program under the behavioral and emotional disabilities, the overall plan needs to be developed to meet the educational needs of the student. For the students with emotional disturbance, the behaviors tend to evoke high anxiety levels. Thus, when designing the Individualized Educational Program, there is a need to develop the objectives, goals and program features before making setting decisions for specific program and education (Reid, Gonzalez, Nordness, Trout, & Epstein, 2004). There should not be a situation where a student is abruptly moved from the current setting to an education setting that appears more restrictive. Thus, goals and objectives need to be developed to determine appropriate supports, services, and the provider.
For the effective and appropriate implementation of the special education program for the student, the student performance needs to be monitored systematically on a continuous basis. The process is an essential one following the ways of delineating documentation of all outcomes of the students based on what was written in the individualized educational program in all settings (Greenberg, Weissberg, O'brien, Zins, Fredericks, Resnik, & Elias, 2003). The process as well provides the guidance to recommendations for the modification of plan and the changes, monitoring of timelines, and the provision of evidence to maintaining the eligibility of the student to continue receiving the special education program and the related services. Also, the time to time data collection and student performance monitoring reveals whether the program is working or not working. As well this enables the driving of changes and instructional modifications in the education program to facilitate the success of students.
Greenberg, M. T., Weissberg, R. P., O'brien, M. U., Zins, J. E., Fredericks, L., Resnik, H., & Elias, M. J. (2003). Enhancing school-based prevention and youth development through coordinated social, emotional, and academic learning. American psychologist, 58(6-7), 466.
Reid, R., Gonzalez, J. E., Nordness, P. D., Trout, A., & Epstein, M. H. (2004). A meta-analysis of the academic status of students with emotional/behavioral disturbance. The Journal of Special Education, 38(3), 130-143.
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