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An Informal screening is a request, which can be initiated by a parent, school administrator, or teacher. This is the first step in identifying a potential child’s need and is used to determine if developmental skills are progressing as expected, or if there is cause for concern. The screening can be carried out in the child’s school or at our BLT location. It is comprised of a close observation of child’s skills, review of work samples given by parents, caregivers, or teachers, and input from parents and teacher.
Screening tools, such as The Battelle Developmental Inventory, Second Edition (BDI-2) and the Bruininks-Oseretsky Test of Motor Proficiency, second edition (BOT-2) can be used in order to determine the need for further formal assessment. The BDI-2 is an early childhood instrument based on developmental milestones. Screening Test consists of a subset of test items from the full BDI-2 item bank. The scoring procedures are similar to those of the full BDI-2, and cut-off scores are provided to help in identifying children who may need additional testing.
The Bruininks-Oseretsky Test of Motor Proficiency, second edition (BOT-2), is a test used to measure gross and fine motor proficiency in both typically developing children and children with developmental disabilities between the ages of four and twenty-one. The BOT-2 Short Form consists of fourteen test items proportionally selected from the subtests of the Complete Form. It can be used as a screening tool and takes less time to administer. If a determination is made that further information is needed, a standardized assessment will be conducted.
A formal evaluation is quite different from a screening. While a screening is a more informal process, an evaluation incorporates the use of standardized testing in order to objectively determine strengths and weaknesses. An evaluation typically includes tests to measure a student’s visual perceptual skills, visual motor integration, motor proficiency and handwriting legibility. It is important to note that most test protocols suggest that tests should not be repeated any sooner than once a year. Assessing a child at closer intervals can reduce the validity of the test, as the tasks can become familiar to the child, and can lead to artificially inflated scores.
Once the evaluation testing is completed, a report will be written and reviewed with the parents. The results and recommendations (if any) will be shared with the parent/guardian as well as pertinent persons involved with the child, such as the child’s school teacher. Based on these informal screenings and standardized assessments, a treatment plan will be generated, which would include the frequency and duration of therapy, short term, and long term goals. Recommendations may include 1:1 and/or group weekly occupational and/or speech and language therapy treatment sessions. At times, no actual therapy may be needed, or the therapist may provide some classroom and home recommendations.