SPED 511 01: Identification and Assessment of Young Children with Special Needs

SPED 511 - Identification and Assessment of Young Children with Special Needs

2023 Fall Syllabus, Section 01, CRN 10985

Course Information

You are responsible for knowing this material, so please read carefully. Any changes will be announced in a Blackboard Announcement. You will be responsible for any changes. Your continued enrollment in this course is your implicit agreement to abide by the requirements of this class.

Times and Location

This course is asynchronous, you are responsible for completing assigned readings and assignments on time.  Asynchronous also allows you to work ahead.

Instructor Information

Jordan Anderson, M.S, SPED, E.C.


Email: jordan.a.anderson.2@ndus.edu

Office: Zoom

2023 Fall Office Hours:
Tuesday Evenings- 6:00pm-8:00pm

Cell Phone: 218-368-3449

About the Professor

Please see Discussion Board #1 for introduction.

Course Description

A study of the principles and procedures for screening, identifying and evaluating young children with special needs. Emphasis will be placed on exposing students to available assessment instruments and providing opportunities for actual testing of preschoolers.

Learning Outcomes

The candidate will:

  1. Understand the basic terminology used in assessment and the legal provisions and ethical principles regarding assessment of young children. (CC851 and CC852)
  2. Understand screening, pre-referral, referral, and classification procedures. (CC8K3)
  3. Demonstrate an understanding of the differences between norm-referenced and criterion referenced assessments and the appropriate application. (CC854, CC8S2, EC8662)
  4.  Express an understanding of play based assessment within a transdisciplinary team and the appropriate application. (CC854, CC8S2, EC8662)
  5. Articulate in writing the importance of team concept in the assessment of young children with disabilities. (EC10K1, EC10S3)
  6. Demonstrate in writing competence in the administration and interpretation of appropriate assessment tools for use with young children with disabilities. (EC8S1, CC862, CC864)
  7. Demonstrate in writing competence in the application of assessment information in the program planning for young children with disabilities and their families. (EC10S2)
  8. Demonstrate in writing an understanding of the strengths and challenges in the process of evaluating young children with disabilities. (EC8S3)
  9. Express in classroom discussion an understanding of strengths and challenges in the process of completing family assessments related to young children with disabilities. (EC8S4, EC8S5, EC8S6, EC9S3)
  10. Report assessment results in a positive manner and relate the information through a team process to the child’s programming. (CC867, CC8S8, EC8S3) 

Course Materials

Kritikos, E., LeDosquet, P. and Melton, M. (2012). Foundations of assessment in early childhood special education. Pearson Education, Upper Saddle River: NJ. 

Additional readings will be posted in the lessons by the instructor for students to download. 

Technical Requirements/Assistance

Whether you’re taking courses in the classroom or online, it’s important to have the right technology and equipment.  Visit the UND Technical Requirements webpage for more information. Students are expected to use their official UND email in the course. For technical assistance, please contact UND Technical Support at 701.777.2222. Visit the University Information Technologies (UIT) website for their hours, help documents and other resources.

Minimum Technical Skills Needed

In order to succeed in this course, at a minimum, you should be able to:

  • Navigate in and use basic Blackboard functions.
  • Download and open electronic documents.
  • Create, save, and upload/attach electronic documents.
  • Send, receive, and manage email.

Course Logistics

Access and Log in Information

This course was developed and will be facilitated utilizing Blackboard. To get started with the course, please go to: http://blackboard.UND.edu and log in with your NDUS.Identifier, Username and Password. If you do not know your NDUS Identifier or have forgotten your password, please visit Your NDUS Account page on the UIT website.

Course Overview

The course content is organized by week for this semester. Each week contains a purpose, learning outcomes, and a variety of links to articles, video/audio files, and other instructional resources selected to enhance the learning experience and support the various topics. Discussions, quizzes, tests and assignments will be used to assess your comprehension and application of those materials.

What Should Students Do First?

Prior to the start of the first week you should have reviewed the syllabus and purchase your textbook.

How Students Should Proceed Each Week for Class Activities

On the left side course menu in Blackboard there is a “Lessons” tab. Inside Lessons you will find all the required readings, videos, and assignments/activities for the week. An overview of each week can be found in Blackboard under the Schedule tab.


Many services are available to UND students such as writing assistance from the UND Writing Center, free online tutoring from Smarthinking, and more. Visit the Student Resources page for more information. Students also have access to the UND Student Resource Site via Blackboard. It is recommended that you become familiar with the tools and tutorials within the site to better equip you in navigating the course.

Course Requirements/Expectations

Insert the course requirements/expectations. An example is posted below.

  1. The student will review the syllabus and course schedule posted in Blackboard. It will be important to read the course schedule each week so that you know whether you need to prepare, post answers to the discussion board, submit assignments, take quizzes, or complete field work.
  2. The student will access and follow all course instructions found in the weekly area of the Blackboard course.
  3. The student will participate in any lecture or discussion sessions online as provided and as part of this course.
  4. The student will complete and submit assignments, exams, quizzes, etc. by the dated noted and in the manner described in Blackboard and on the course schedule. We will use Central Standard Time for due dates and times.
  5. Please contact me if there is an extenuating circumstance that prohibits you from meeting the deadline for submitting assignments by the due date. If you do not contact me, one point per day will be deducted for late assignments. Posting after 8:00 a.m. CST will be considered late even if posted on that day 
  6. The student will participate fully and in a timely manner to get the benefit of learning from instructor and/or peers.
  7. Identify one child to complete the Ages and Stages Questionnaire-3 on for this course. This screening is a questionnaire that parents complete, and you score. It is available in specific month intervals, so you will need the correct questionnaire for the child's age.
  8.  Complete a developmental evaluation on a child between three to five years old. You will need a norm-referenced assessment (e.g., Battelle Developmental Inventory, Mullen’s Scales of Learning) and a criterion-referenced assessment (e.g., Hawaii Early Learning Profile (HELP), Brigance Developmental Inventory, AEPs). A list of norm and criterion referenced assessments is in Lesson 1.
  9. Check your local early childhood special education program, Head Start program or early intervention program in your school district or state to see if you can borrow these instruments. If you are unable to locate the instruments, please email contact your instructor right away. 

Instructor Responsibilities and Feedback

  • The instructor will provide feedback on all assignments and group activities by Wednesday of the following week.
  • The instructor will be available during appointed Zoom Office Hours to answer questions, provide feedback, and offer advice.



Announcements will be posted in Blackboard on a regular basis. Be sure to check the class announcements regularly as they will contain important information about class assignments and other class matters.


You are encouraged to email your instructor with any questions about the course. T= But, if you need to contact me directly, check the Faculty tab in Blackboard or the syllabus for my contact information. I will respond back to you within 48 hours during the week or weekend.

Discussion Boards

This tool is an excellent way for you to engage with the course material and with your peers. Each week we will have a discussion board to participate in. You are expected to read all assigned discussion boards and provide thoughtful contributions.

Course Etiquette

When participating in class (online or in person) it is important to interact with your peers in an appropriate manner. Always use professional language (no netspeak) in your postings and emails. Please be respectful of your classmates at all times even if you disagree with their ideas.


Discussion (31%)

Discussion Board 1: Introduction10

Discussion Board #2: Diversity10

Discussion Board 3: Collaboration10

Discussion Board 4: Child Find10

Discussion Board 5: Models Curriculum10

Discussion Board 6: Sensory10

Discussion Board 7: Research Article10

Discussion Board 8: Motor Development and Adaptive Skills10

Paper (8%)

Legal Issues20

Project (41%)

Developmental Screening: Birth to Three25

Ages and Stages 3 (ASQ-3) should be used for this screening and it should be completed on a child birth to three years of age.

A one-page written summary must be submitted to grade book. 

Developmental Assessment: Three to Five50

Complete one norm-referenced assessment (all areas) and three domains of a criterion-referenced assessment on a child who is three to five years of age. In the criterion-referenced assessment, use the cognition, adaptive or self-help and social-emotional sections. It should be noted that sections in each assessment might be labeled differently. 

Assessment Names Submission5

Norm-Referenced Assessment Sheet10

Criterion-Referenced Assessment Sheet10

Course Evaluation5

Quiz (20%)

Theoretical Quiz10

Observation Quiz15

Communication Quiz15

Child Outcomes Quiz10

Assessment Summary

Assignment                                               Final Grade

  1. Quizzes (10 @ 10 pts each)                                            50 Points
  2. Weekly Discussion Boards (8 @ 10 pts each)                80 Points
  3. Developmental Screening                                              25 Points
  4. Developmental Assessment                                           50 Points
  5. Legal Issues Assignment                                               20 Points
  6. Assessment Names Submission                                      5 Points
  7. Norm-Referenced Assessment Assignment                  10 Points
  8. Criterion-Referenced Assessment Assignment             10 Points
  9. Course Evaluation                                                            5 Points

                  Total: 255 Points

Final Grade Scale

> 92% A

84-91% B

76-83% C

68-75% D

< 68% F

Schedule of Topics and Assignments

Week of Reading(s): Agenda/Topic: Due:
8/21 Chapters 1 & 2
Watch PowerPoint Lecture
Intro to the Course
Intro to Children with Special Needs
Legal Issues
Download & print syllabus.
Discussion Board #1- Initial posting due by 08/28 at 8:00am. Respond to at least three other postings by 08/30 at 8:00am.
Legal Issues Assignment- Due 08/28 at 8:00am.
8/28 Read Chapter 3
Watch PowerPoint Lecture
Family Diversity & Assessment

Discussion Board 2: Diversity- Initial comments due 8:00am by 09/05. Read & respond to at least three other students' postings by 8:00am on 09/07.
Locate one child between birth to three to administer the Ages & Stages Questionaire-3 (ASQ-3) & locate a child three to five years of age to administer a criterion-referend & a norm-referenced assessment.
Locate the ASQ-3 & use the questionnaire closest to the month of age of your child.
Locate & submit through Blackboard a norm-referenced evaluation tool & a criterion-referenced evaluation tool that you will use for the age of child you will be assessing (a brief listing is available under the syllabus---make sure that these are NOT screening tools). These tools should developmental assessment tools that covers the 5 required domains for evaluating 3- to 5-year-old children in Preschool Special Education services. This is your opportunity to reach out to your service providers in your area that are providing early childhood special education to children 3 to 5 years of age. You will want to make sure that you also access the manual for each test. Please submit by 09/07 at 8:00am.
9/4 Chapter 4 Collaboration

Discussion Board #2 Collaboration. Questions are located under Lesson. Post initial comments to the discussion board by 8:00 a.m. on 9/11. Read & respond to at least three other students’ postings by 8:00 a.m. by 9/13
Make sure you have the correct Ages & Stages-3 screening questionnaire for the upcoming assignment.
9/11 Read article "Selecting a Developmental Screening Instrument"
Read article "Framework for Investigating Child Find, Referral, Early Identification & Eligibility Determination Practices"
Watch PowerPoint lecture.
Child Find & Developmental Screening
Field Work

Discussion Board #3 due by 8:00am on 09/18. Please read & respond to at least three other postings by 09/20 at 8:00am.
9/18 No readings this week. Field Work Complete Ages & Stages-3 & submit summary via Blackboard. Due on 09/27 at 8:00am.
9/25 Chapter 5
Watch PowerPoint Lecture
Read norm-referenced administration manual that you will be administering.
Technical Aspects of Assessment
Norm-Referenced Standardized Assessment
Theoretical Perspective Quiz- Due 10/2 at 8:00am.
Complete Norm-Referenced Assessment Evaluation Sheet on the assessment you have chosen to administer on your child by 10/2 at 8:00am.
10/2 No readings this week.
Field Work No assignment submitted this week- Complete all subtests in the Norm-Referenced Standardized Assessment on your child.
10/9 Chapter 6
Watch PowerPoint Lecture
Read Criterion-Referenced administration manual on the assessment you will be administering.
Assessment Models
Curriculum-Based Assessment (Criterion-Referenced Assessment)
Complete Criterion-Referenced Assessment Evaluation Sheet on the Criterion-Referenced Assessment you have chosen to administer on your child (10/16 at 8:00 a.m.). Submit as an assignment in this lesson.
2. Discussion Board #4 Questions are located under Lessons. Post initial comments to the discussion board by 8:00 a.m. on 10/11. Read & respond to at least three other students’ postings by 8:00 a.m. on 10/16.
10/16 No readings this week. Field Work No submitted assignment this week- Complete the three domain areas on the Criterion-Referenced Assessment. Each assessment will label the domains differently, but it is recommended that you include areas that were not addressed in your norm-referenced assessment. These often include adaptive/self-help & social-emotional. You will need to include one other domain.
10/23 Chapter 8
Read Report Writing document.
Watch PowerPoint lecture.
Report Writing & Observational Assessment Begin writing your report. An example of a report is located in this lesson. Make sure to include actual scores from the norm-referenced assessment in your report.
Take Observational Assessment Quiz (open book with one-hour completion time). This quiz needs to be completed by 10/30 at 8:00 a.m.
10/30 Chapter 9
Watch PowerPoint Lecture
Sensory Assessment Discussion Board #5- Initial Post due by 11/6 at 8:00am. Please respond to at least three other posts by 11/8 at 8:00am.
11/6 Chapter 10
Read the What Works Brief: "Understanding Temperament in Infants & Toddlers"
Cognitive & Social-Emotional Assessment Discussion Board 6- Initial Post due by 11/13 at 8:00am. Please respond to at least three other posts by 11/15 at 8:00am.
Optional Assignment: Submit a draft report through blackboard as an assignment if you’d like feedback by 11/14 at 8:00 a.m. I will provide feedback to any draft reports submitted before the 12/4 deadline.
11/13 Chapter 11
Look at Speech & Language Development in Infant & Young Children Website
Chapter 12
Watch PowerPoint Lecture
Assessing communication.
Motor Development & Adaptive Skills
Complete quiz by 11/17 at 8:00am.
Discussion Board 7- Initial posts are due by 11/27 at 8:00am. Read & respond to at least three other postings by 11/29 at 8:00am.
11/20 No readings this week. Thanksgiving Break Happy Thanksgiving!
11/27 Watch using COSF- Part 1
Watch Child Outcomes Step by Step Video
Read "What is a Functional Outcome?"
Look at the crosswalk for one of two assessments that you gave during this course. After you click on the link, you will need to scroll down to locate the correct assessment.
Early Childhood Outcomes Scan & submit final report & scoring sheets through blackboard as an assignment by 12/4 at 8:00 a.m.
Outcomes Quiz- Due by 12/4 at 8:00am.
12/4 No readings this week. Course Evaluation Complete Course Evaluation: You will receive an email about taking a SELFI. Once you complete the course, please complete this survey & post in the Wiki you completed it by 12/8 at 8:00am.