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Description: While early childhood researchers have described and defined authentic assessment, much of the work has been based on classroom and teaching practices. By exploring how to consider infant and toddler skills across settings, time, and interactions within everyday life contexts, practitioners will be able to implement functional assessment throughout the EI process. Supporting EIs to understand how to step away from focusing on discrete test skills to incorporate observation and gathering of information is also essential. This session will provide tools, vignettes, and practice to apply the research and RPs specifically for infants, toddlers, and families in Part C based on an article in the DEC Assessment Monograph.

Using a systematic crosswalk, the sessions will align a practical definition of early intervention (EI) functional assessment with nine of the eleven DEC Assessment RPs. Focusing on good assessment practices, the definition incorporates eight important elements including:  “continuous, collaborative, observing, asking meaningful questions, listening, analyzing, naturally occurring everyday routines and activities, and across multiple situations and settings.” These elements will be linked to EI decision points including eligibility determination, program planning, and progress monitoring supporting practitioners to use recommended assessment practices during multiple activities. 


Participant Outcomes: Supporting early interventionists (EIs) to apply the DEC RPs during assessment and service delivery to families of infants and toddlers in Part C is essential. To enhance confidence and competence and build capacity, it is important for EIs to understand the evidence behind practices. By participating in this session, practitioners will understand the applicability of the DEC RPs to their assessment practices. After learning a practical definition of functional assessment (FA), participants will explore various EI decision points where FA can be implemented. They will strategize how they can use this definition and the assessment RPs to guide service delivery.

Presenters: Cori Hill, M.Ed.; Lisa Terry, MS, M.Ed., IMH-E®; Dana Childress, PhD

CORI HILL, M.Ed. is the Principal Investigator and provides overall coordination and oversight for the Integrated Training Collaborative (ITC), Virginia's Comprehensive System of Personnel Development (CSPD) project. She has worked in the field of early intervention for over 25 years as an infant program director, educator and service coordinator.


LISA TERRY, MS, M.Ed., IMH-E® provides support for the design and implementation of professional development activities for early intervention providers and administrators in Virginia. Lisa is a certified trainer in the Growing Brain, a ZERO TO THREE curriculum. She maintains endorsement in infant mental health as an Infant Family Specialist.


DANA CHILDRESS, Ph.D., provides support for the design and implementation of professional development activities for early intervention providers and administrators in Virginia. She has worked in early intervention for over 20 years as an early childhood special educator, service coordinator, program supervisor, local system manager, trainer, and writer. She is the co-author of the book, Family-Centered Early Intervention: Supporting Infants and Toddlers in Natural Environments.

What Do Assessment Practices Really Look Like in EI - A 3-Part Series

  • This digital product provides access to one (1) archived Learning Deck webinar for one (1) individual purchaser. Once the order is placed, the purchaser will receive a link to download the webinar recording as well as any webinar handouts. The webinar can be watched on-demand at any time once downloaded. Note: Archived webinar purchases do not include certificates of attendance. 


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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. Archived webinar purchases do not include certificates of attendance. 

    You can learn more about DEC Learning Deck webinars here. 

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