AN INVESTIGATION OF ASSESSMENT AND IEP DEVELOPMENT IN THE FUNCTIONING AREAS OF SOCIAL, BEHAVIORAL, AND COMMUNICATION OF HIGH SCHOOL STUDENTS WITH AUTISM SPECTRUM DISORDERS
Sigerseth, Susan Carol
Kohl, Frances L
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Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) are life-long disabilities which manifest impairments in social skills, communication skills, and restricted, repetitive behaviors (DSM-IV, 1994). The purpose of this study was to investigate assessment and Individualized Education Program (IEP) development among high school students with an ASD, focusing on the assessment of social, behavioral, and communication skills. The design of this study was descriptive utilizing structured record reviews. Assessment selections and outcomes leading to IEP development were documented for 16 high school students with an ASD during the 2009-2010 school year. The assessment records of each participant were examined to determine what assessment domains had been requested and assessed, extracting information on social, behavioral, and communication skills, and which assessment instruments were used. Additionally, the IEP was examined to determine what instructional goals and objectives were written in the areas of social, behavioral, and communication. Variability among student records made retrieving assessment data difficult. Assessments that had been requested were not always given and assessments were given that had not been requested. Assessment domains did not yield basic information they were intended to provide. Although on average half of the students' IEPs contained goals that were social, behavioral, and/or communication, these goals and objectives were neither rigorous enough for the academic level of the student nor lead to independence to be successful, productive adults.