Essential Steps in Using the DRDP for Special Education

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The results of the DRDP assessment help us better understand children’s learning and development, plan instruction, and share information with families. In order to produce confident results, the DRDP must be used with a number of essential steps in place. As you review the list of steps below reflect on the extent that you use each step when completing the DRDP.

If you consider some steps as “not” or “somewhat” in place, plan how you will increase the use of those steps in your practice.

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Plan for the assessment

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1. Discuss the DRDP with family members and plan how they can participate in the assessment.

2. Plan with IFSP/IEP team members, general education staff, and others who work with the child how each will provide observations and documentation.

Use adaptations

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3. Identify the adaptations that the child uses in typical activities and routines.

4. Assure the adaptations that the child uses are in place and in good working order, e.g., batteries are charged, eyeglasses are clean, etc.

Observe children systematically

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5. Observe the child participating in typical, everyday routines and activities.

6. Observe the child demonstrating skills over time and in different settings.

7. Allow the child sufficient time to complete tasks, even if she/he needs more time than peers to complete them.

8. Observe the child using her/his typical communication modes, e.g., home language, additional languages being learned, sign language, and via communication devices.

9. Record observations in ways that accurately describe the child’s skills.

Work collaboratively with others

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10. Create practical ways for family members to share observations and documentation of their child’s skills, e.g., photos, videos, artwork.

11. Create ongoing opportunities for IFSP/IEP team members, general education staff, and others who work with the child to share observations and documentation.

Collect and organize documentation

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12. Collect a variety of types of documentation, e.g., observation notes and checklists, work samples, photos, video.

13. Organize your documentation in ways that will be useful when rating measures, e.g., organized in a portfolio or notebook.

Rate the measures

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14. Refer to the examples as needed, but base your ratings on each measure’s descriptors rather than the examples.

15. Base your ratings on observations and documentation that you collected during the six-week period prior to when you submit your DRDP data.

16. Make additional observations and/or collect additional information if the available documentation is not sufficient to confidently rate measures.