Transdisciplinary Play-Based Assessment Observation
Transdisciplinary Play-Based Assessment [TPBA] is a practical approach to assess children at risk for developmental delays or disabilities, and involves the child, his or her parents, and other educational or diagnostic professionals in an ordinary environment of assessment and intervention. A TPBA framework is planned around the play screening session, and the play conference is based on information obtained from the child’s parents in relation to their child’s developmental status. During the conference session, guiding principles can provided for observing the thinking, social-emotional development, communication and language abilities, and sensorimotor development of the child.
The behavioral validity of TPBA methods, materials, and techniques are Vital to this assessment. Mainly, because the assessment requires planning that include the family, as well as from others who are familiar with the child. This aids the baseline for the assessment, which is now similar to the family’s environment and experiences. TPBA provides numerous opportunities for children to intermingle with new and familiar materials. In addition, to capture as many perspectives as possible, a variety of observers is included in the assessment. Furthermore, pre-assessment questions answered by the parent’s aid the educators and other professionals preparing the setting that will stimulate the child’s optimal abilities. The implementation of the assessment usually involves the examiner to use informal assistance, and follows and expands upon the child’s lead. In a formal setting, the examiner assists the child as he or she elicits behaviors that were not natural in the earlier phase. Then, the child is then, observed after being introduced to a peer in order to observe the interaction among them. Formal and informal play among the parents and the child, motor play, and snack time, allows for a screening of oral-motor difficulties as well as social and adaptive development.
Throughout the observation period, an educator or the diagnostic professional discusses with the parent the observations of the child’s behaviors, the professional analysis of behaviors, and the parent’s view of the child’s behavior. The observers also guided their observations by questions that address both measurable and qualitative characteristics of the child’s behavior. When the assessment is completed, and the child’s observed behavior, accomplishments, transdisciplinary recommendations are developed, and a program-planning meeting is arranged to provide added suggestions for the child’s parents. These experiences respected the child, his or her family, and the culture in which the child lives. Emphasis focused on the collected data from the areas of development of the child.
As for mentioned, TPBA uses observation to evaluate the development status of a child in systematized play settings. According to Stuhlman et.al (2010), the summary of the benefits for observations of play are as follows:
“Providing opportunities to assess the behavior of child tha is unable or refuses to perform in a formal testing setting. Reveal characteristics of the parent child relationship that help explain the behavior of the child. Provide explanations of developmental domains, and give diagnostic professionals numerous opportunities to learn effective play strategies from a child’s parent. Recommend ways to support parents play strategies that are not effective. Identify coping skills and risk factors that affect the child’s diagnosis and hinder their planning program. Then increase the parents and professionals relationships” (p.2).
These play observations correlate to the normal developmental information acquired in the setting, and provide the opportunity to create a parent to professional partnership.
Spur of the moment play behaviors of the parent and child, can add critically important information to an assessment. The setting and procedures of the setting allows the child and his or her parents to establish their weaknesses and strengths as well as their areas of difficulty.
In general, the principles for observing and assessing is summarized as the need for practitioners to be clear on the need for and purpose of assessing, ensure the appropriateness for the child. In addition, ensure the process is meaningful, consider the ethical issues, validity the outcomes, use appropriate observational methods for the child and the setting, consider the timing of the observation, ensure there is adequate staffing to free the observer from additional responsibilities if necessary, and be clear on how the outcomes will be disseminated, and to whom. The major disadvantage of this approach is that the assessment cannot easily be dynamic, that is, the team members cannot interact with the child in order to see how quickly the child learns or how the child responds if activities were in different ways and by different persons.
This research paper has reviewed the literature on transdisciplinary play based assessment, outlining its basic premises and observation features. The implementation of TPBA observation highlighted the importance of increasing the success of this practice of distinguished roles, independent and team responsibility for professional development, and a learning based and supportive team environment.
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