chapter  1
9 Pages

Introduction and Assessment in the Context of Educational Therapy

WithMarion Marshall

This chapter creates the foundation for thinking about assessment as it applies to educational therapists (ETs). I use the term “student” since my work has primarily been with elementary-aged children. If you work with a differently-aged population, substitute client as you read. I use the term “parents” generically. Please substitute guardian in your reading, if applicable. Myer et al. stated that:

Although tests can assist clinicians with case formulation and treatment recommendations, they are only tools. Tools do not think for themselves. Like a stethoscope, a blood pressure gauge, or an MRI scan, a test is a dumb tool—and the worth of the tool cannot be separated from the sophistication of the clinician who draws inferences from it and then communicates with clients and other professionals.

(Quoted in Schrank & Flanagan 2003: 126) When I teach a graduate-level class in advanced assessment, I always ask small groups, “Why does one assess?” in the first class session. Typically, all are thinking of the initial, standardized assessments. Those who are training as special education teachers confer together and have their answers very quickly. Murmurs can be heard among that group, “What is taking them so long?” as the educational therapist candidates discuss and ponder the question.