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Health Forum Online    The Psychologist's Source for C.E. Credits Online

Navigating the Educational and Psychological Assessment of the Special Need Preschooler

by Kathleen Holland, PsyD 2 CE Credits

Early detection of difficulties and special challenges can guide children and families toward appropriate interventions and ultimately, toward better adjustment for both the child and the system. This online CE course will focus on the range of disabling conditions identified in 2 to 3 year olds, through the outreach programs offered in the schools including information on referral sources, such as regional centers, pediatricians, parents and specialized medical centers. A wide range of disabling conditions, assessment criteria, evaluation tools administered, diagnostic findings, eligibility criteria for services, individualized interventions and the reevaluation process will be discussed. A multi-agency approach to services will be reviewed including medical response, mental health services, and auxiliary services (e.g., language or occupational therapy, private providers, educational programs). In addition, attention will be paid to parental and cultural factors that can impact the process from initial diagnosis to placement.


This online course is approved for APA CE credit, NBCC CE clock hours, ASWB Clinical CE clock hours, and NYSED CE credit.


Course Sections/Outline:

  • Introduction
  • Special Need Preschool-Aged Students and the IEP: Who is Eligible?
  • After Eligibility is Met
  • The Assessment Process
  • The Next Step: Program Planning and the IEP
  • Parent Coping Abilities and Resources: Nurturing the Nurturer
  • Other Clinical Considerations
  • References
  • Web-based Resources

Learning Objectives:

After completing this course, health professionals will be able to:
  • Identify developmental disabilities prevalent in preschool-aged children, including school-based eligibility as per the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), as well as the Individual Educational Plan (IEP) process and basic IEP services available for 14 disabling categories within this age group.
  • Recognize at least 10 evidence-based assessment tools for use with special need preschoolers from the 7 domains most frequently evaluated (e.g., academic  functioning, intellectual development, social and emotional functioning), along the role of the psychological assessment within an interdisciplinary team approach.
  • Discuss the impact of parental and cultural factors on the IEP process and care.