Early childhood assessment: An integrative framework

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Early childhood assessment is a valuable prevention-based area of practice for school and clinical psychologists. The purpose of this chapter is to provide a thorough and practical foundation and framework for assessment of infants, toddlers, and young children for a variety of purposes. This framework integrates several key principles that guide best practices in early childhood assessment. Effective assessment of this population calls for a comprehensive approach involving the collection of information across multiple developmental domains and from parents, teachers, and other caregivers. Clinicians conducting early childhood assessments need to be comfortable and skilled in utilizing a variety of methods including interviews, observations, and standardized testing. They must also be competent in applying and integrating naturalistic approaches that involve collection of data in everyday contexts. In addition to expanding upon basic tenets that lead to sound assessment practices, this chapter discusses relevant legal standards as well as classification systems that might apply to children in the 0-6 population.

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Early Childhood Assessment in School and Clinical Child Psychology

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