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Assessment is a multifaceted, complex procedure. Writing meaningful, functional, and individual reports to share assessment information with families is an important skill. This presentation aims to provide guidelines for early intervention/early childhood special education practitioners to successfully communicate assessment results with families and writing collaborative assessment reports from a family-centered approach. We will use the Division for Early Childhood (DEC) Recommended Practices on Assessment as our reference point (i.e., A2 & A11). Real-life vignettes will be shared to illustrate the communication between practitioners and family members who have young children with special needs. Moreover, examples of high-quality assessment reports from the Battelle Developmental Profile: II (Bliss, 2007) will be shared to highlight the importance of word use, language, and format. Practitioners will learn to utilize the “LAFF don’t Cry” strategy as a method for active listening, a key concept in collaborative assessment reporting (McNaughton, Hamlin, McCarthy, Head-Reeves, & Schreiner, 2008).


Participant Outcomes:  

  • Participants will understand the value of familycentered practices during the assessment process, with a focus on providing verbal and written feedback.
  • Participants will increase their knowledge of providing assessment feedback through a familycentered approach, including the use of the “LAFF don’t CRY” strategy.
  • Participants will gain knowledge about followup activities to assessments that are framed in a family-centered approach.


Presenters: Kelly Brown; Stephanie Silva; and Serra Acar, PhD

Kelly Brown is a doctoral student at the University of Massachusetts Boston. She is a Certified Early Intervention Specialist and has spent 10 years working in the field. Her research interests include collaborations between early intervention and the foster care system and trauma-informed practice in early childhood settings.


Stephanie Silva is a doctoral student in Early Childhood Education and Care (ECEC) at the University of Massachusetts Boston. Stephanie is a Certified Early Intervention Specialist and Master’s Level Psychologist in Early Intervention. Her research includes personnel preparation and transitions into and out of early intervention.


Serra Acar, PhD, is an Assistant Professor at the University of Massachusetts Boston. She has worked in the field for more than 10 years. Her research includes culturally and linguistically responsive assessment, executive function, and second language learners, and personnel preparation in early intervention/early childhood special education (EI/ECSE).

Beyond Feedback: Communicating Assessment Information with Families

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  • Division for Early Childhood Learning Deck Webinars are webinars presented by experts in early intervention, early childhood special education, and related fields. Each webinar lasts approximately one hour (unless otherwise noted) and includes access to the full recording and any webinar handouts. Webinar purchases do not include certificates of attendance. 

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