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NASP Home NASP Publications School Psychology Review (SPR) Volume 13 Issue 1 (1984) Book Reviews
Volume 13, Issue 1 (1984)

Book Reviews

pp. 111—122

As the title would suggest, this text was designed by Bagnato and Neisworth to serve as a practical resource and guide for teachers of normal or handicapped preschoolers, infant stimulation specialists, administrations and school psychologists interested in linking assessment results with the development of individualized educational plans. The premise of the book is that most written results of developmental assessments have provided very little information useful in designing specialized curricula to meet individual preschoolers’needs. Extra responsibility for this situation seems to be placed squarely on the shoulders of school psychologists. As a matter of fact, Part I of the text covering three chapters on the assessment of exceptional preschoolers addresses school psychologists specifically.In some ways this may be appropriate.Because of their knowledge about measurement techniques, other authors (Boehm & Sandberg, 1982) would agree that school psychologists should play a significant role in objective-based curriculum planning using the results of both formative and summative evaluation. The problem is that roles and relationships ascribed to school psychologists by these authors are not consistent with the most current professional practices. Well-trained school psychologists can provide a broader range of services than testing and written psychological reports. Early childhood educators are not just curriculum specialists who“wait eagerly for the assessment findings to help them in selecting and creating appropriate objectives and methods for working with each child.” Certainly, ongoing consultation between the school psychologist, preschool teacher and other members of the multidisciplinary assessment team is the preferred mode of service delivery (Gutkin & Curtis, 1982).The authors’ limited perspective on the professional relationships of school psychologists and preschool teachers is probably the greatest drawback of the book. In keeping with this orientation, chapter one contains examples of poorly-written “traditional” psychological reports and examples of “translated”developmental diagnostic reports. This distinction between “traditional” and “translated” assessments is a useful one and is the foundation for the rest of the book. “Translated”assessments clearly identify the purposes of assessment, address functional skills of the child in various relevant domains and link assessed child needs to specific intervention goals and targets. Traditional assessments have been “test-centered,” reporting mostly test results. This is what the authors refer to as the gap between assessment and programming.

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