The No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 specifically mandates that all students participate in the general assessment process or some form of alternate assessment as a measure of school accountability for student academic progress. Although levels of communication difficulties, intellectual impairment, and specific diagnoses such as autism spectrum disorders (ASDs) are correlated with increased probability of participating in alternate assessment methods, very little empirical research has focused on identifying predictors for students assessment modality. Archival data from the Special Education Elementary Longitudinal Study (SEELS; 2005) were used to examine variables that predict whether elementary school students with ASD participated in the general or alternate assessment. Results indicated that receptive and expressive communication abilities appear to influence participation in the general vs. alternate assessment in tandem with access to assistive technology. Students with ASDs were approximately 2.71 times more likely to participate in the general assessment when they had access to assistive technology. Next, we performed a second, follow-up analysis for only ASD students with communication problems. The odds ratio value increased to 14.9 indicating that ASD students with communication problems that had access to assistive technology were almost 15 times more likely to participate in the general assessment than students with communication problems without access to assistive technology.
- assessment and recommendation practices
- assistive technology