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How does a student qualify for special education services?
What is an evaluation?
What is a re-evaluation?
Outline of the initial evaluation process for school-age children
Frequently asked questions about the evaluation process
Assessment tools
Laws that govern special education
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Assessment Tool Descriptions
ACHENBACH CHILD BEHAVIOR CHECKLIST Measure of behavioral functioning. This instrument allows for parent, teacher, student responses and generates a behavioral profile.

ADAPTIVE BEHAVIOR ASSESSMENT SYSTEM (ABAS-II) Measures overall adaptive functioning, including the ten adaptive skill areas specified by the DSM-IV-TR, and incorporates the AAMR guidelines for the diagnosis of mental retardation. Parent and Teacher Forms for ages 5-21 years; Adult Forms for ages 16-89 years; and infant-preschool Parent/Primary Caregiver and Teacher/Daycare Provider rating forms and normative data for children ages birth-5 years.

ADAPTIVE BEHAVIOR INVENTORY (ABI) Measures adaptive behavior. It is appropriate for students with mental retardation ranging from 6-18 years of age and for other students from 5-18. Useful in diagnosing mental retardation and in identifying students who may qualify for special education programs for mental retardation, developmental disabilities, or emotional disturbance.

ASPERGER SYNDROME DIAGNOSTIC SCALE (ASDS) This is a questionnaire designed to identify behaviors and abilities indicative of Asperger Syndrome in school age children

AUTISM DIAGNOSTIC OBSERVATION SCHEDULE (ADOS) Assesses and diagnoses autism and pervasive developmental disorder across ages, developmental levels, and language skills.

AUTISM SCREENING INSTRUMENT FOR EDUCATIONAL PLANNING (ASIEP-2) Identifies children who have autism (18 months of age and older) and develops appropriate instructional plans in accordance with PL 94-142. It can also be used to differentially diagnose autism from other severe disabilities.

BANKSON LANGUAGE SCREENING TEST-2 Measures young children’s psycho-linguistic skills in Semantic Knowledge, Morphological/Syntactical Rules and Pragmatics.

BANKSON LANGUAGE TEST – 2 Provides examiners with a measure of children’s psycho-linguistic skills.

BAYLEY SCALES OF INFANT DEVELOPMENT – 3RD EDITION A comprehensive assessment of behavioral development.

BECK DEPRESSION INVENTORY (BDI-II) The Beck Depression Inventory (BDI) is a 21-item test presented in multiple choice format which purports to measure presence and degree of depression in adolescents and adults.

BECK YOUTH INVENTORIES – SECOND EDITION – Designed for children and adolescents ages 7 through 18 years. Five self-report inventories can be used separately or in combination to assess symptoms of depression, anxiety, anger, disruptive behavior, and self-concept.

BEHAVIOR ASSESSMENT SCALE FOR CHILDREN (BASC-2) Measures behavioral functioning. Allows for parent, teacher and student responses and generates a behavioral profile.

BEHAVIOR OBSERVATION OF STUDENTS IN SCHOOLS (BOSS) Designed for grades Pre-K through 12, this software facilitates the systematic recording of direct observations of children’s behaviors in the school environment. You can record whether students are actively or passively engaged in activities and how often they engage in off-task behaviors. This is especially important for monitoring intervention success.

BEHAVIOR RATING INVENTORY FOR EXECUTIVE FUNCTIONING (BRIEF) The BRIEF consists of two rating forms--a parent questionnaire and a teacher questionnaire--designed to assess executive functioning in the home and school environments. The BRIEF is useful in evaluating children with a wide spectrum of developmental and acquired neurological conditions.

BENDER VISUAL MOTOR GESTALT DESIGN – II Useful in assessing maturation of visual motor gestalt function in children and exploring retardation, regression, loss of function, organic brain defects & personality deviations in both children and adults.

BRACKEN BASIC CONCEPT SCALE A comprehensive system of basic concept assessment.

BROWN ADD SCALES The Brown Attention-Deficit Disorder Scales® (Brown ADD Scales) are among the first ADD assessment instruments that allow you to test adults and adolescents. Separate forms are available for each.

BURKS’ BEHAVIOR RATING SCALE, 2ND EDITION (BBRS-2) Identifies behavior problems in children in grades 1-9.

CHILDHOOD AUTISM RATING SCALE (CARS) Helps to identify children with autism and to distinguish them from children with developmental disabilities who do not have autism. In addition, it distinguishes between mild-to-moderate and severe autism.

CHILDREN’S DEPRESSION RATING SCALE – REVISED (CDRS-R) Modeled after the Hamilton Rating Scale for Depression, the CDRS-R is a clinical interview tool designed for assessing 6-12 year-olds, and it has also been used successfully for adolescents.

CLINICAL EVALUATION OF LANGUAGE FUNDAMENTALS (CELF-4) Measures a broad range of expressive and receptive language skills.


COMPREHENSIVE ASSESSMENT OF SPOKEN LANGUAGE (CASL) An in-depth, research- based, theory-driven assessment of oral language skills.

Language-free measure of intelligence aptitude, and reasoning. Requires no reading, writing, spelling, listening ability.

CONNORS RATING SCALE – 3RD EDITION Used to characterize numerous behavior patterns in children ages 3-17.

DETROIT TESTS OF LEARNING APTITUDE (DTLA-4) Useful in diagnosing learning disabilities and mental retardation. It can be used to isolate special intra-individual strengths and weaknesses and to measure both aptitude and discrete ability areas.

DEVELOPMENTAL PROFILE 3 (DP-3) Assessment of a child’s development from birth to 9-1/2 years. The inventory assesses five key areas. These are profiled to clearly indicate the child’s functional developmental deviations, both advanced and delayed according to age norms in each of the five areas assessed.

DEVELOPMENTAL TASKS FOR KINDERGARTEN READINESS (DTKR-II) Provides objective data on a child’s skills and abilities as they relate to successful performance.

DEVELOPMENTAL TEST OF VISUAL MOTOR INTEGRATION (BEERY VMI 5) Used for an accurate examination of the integration of visual perception and motor behavior. It can help uncover visual-motor problems before they develop into more serious school-related difficulties.

DEVEREAUX BEHAVIOR RATING SCALES Identifies behaviors that may indicate severe emotional disturbance in children and adolescents.

DIAGNOSTIC ACHIEVEMENT BATTERY (DAB-3) Provides a comprehensive assessment of academic abilities in 6- to 14-year-old students. Profiles strengths and weaknesses in: Listening, Speaking, Reading, Writing, and Mathematics.

DIFFERENTIAL ABILITY SCALES (DAS-2) The Differential Ability Scales (DAS) is a nationally normed, and individually administered battery of achievement tests. It is comprised of a school achievement test that measures the basic skills in word reading, spelling and arithmetic. The range of the DAS covers children from 2 years and 6 months to 17 years and 11 months

DIFFERENTIAL TEST OF CONDUCT & EMOTIONAL PROBLEMS (DT/CEP) A screening tool to provide accurate identification of nonhandicapped conduct problem children and adults.

DRAW-A-PERSON: SCREENING PROCEDURE FOR EMOTIONAL DISTURBANCE (DAP:SPED) Through the drawings of children and adolescents provides the ability to differentiate between normal and disturbed children. Convenient and reliable way to identify children with emotional or behavioral disorders.

EMOTIONAL DISTURBANCE DECISION TREE (EDDT) Provides a standardized approach to the assessment of emotional disturbance (ED) that covers all of the federal criteria and addresses the broad emotional and behavioral nuances of children ages 5-18 years suspected of requiring special education services for an ED.

EXPRESSIVE ONE WORD PICTURE VOCABULARY TEST (EOWPVT-2000) Assesses the expressive vocabulary of adolescents. It is a valuable diagnostic tool for comparing expressive language skills with other measures of receptive language, for detecting speech defects, identifying learning disorders related to hearing loss and imperceptions of the auditory modality and for assessing auditory-visual association ability.

FISHER LOGEMAN ARTICULATION TEST Uses linguistic principles as its foundation. Furnishes valid and useful descriptions of a phonological system. Provides a methodology for eliciting spontaneous responses that are pre-structured for required phonemic occurrence, and a framework for analysis of data.

GILLIAM AUTISM RATING SCALE (GARS-2) This scale consists of several sub-scales including: Restricted Pattern of Behavior, Cognitive Patterns, Pragmatic Skills, Early Development, and Key Question. This scale can be completed by both parents and professionals.

GOLDMAN-FRISTOE ARTICULATION TEST A systematic measure of a child’s articulation of consonant sounds.

GOODENOUGH-HARRIS DRAWING TEST A nonverbal test of mental ability for children and adolescents.

GRAY ORAL READING TEST (GORT-4) Provides an efficient and objective measure of growth in oral reading and an aid in the diagnosis of oral reading difficulties.

KAUFMAN ASSESSMENT BATTERY FOR CHILDREN (K-ABC-II) Defines intelligence as a child’s ability to solve problems using simultaneous and sequential mental processes. Measures intelligence separately from achievement.

KAUFMAN BRIEF INTELLIGENCE TEST (K-BIT-2) A brief, individually administered screener of verbal and nonverbal intelligence.

KAUFMAN TEST OF EDUCATIONAL ACHIEVEMENT (K-TEA-II) An individually administered diagnostic battery that measures reading, mathematics, and spelling skills.

KEY MATH DIAGNOSTIC ARITHMETIC TEST, 3RD EDITION A comprehensive, norm-referenced measure of essential mathematical concepts and skills.

KHAN-LEWIS PHONOLOGICAL ANALYSIS-2 Provides a more comprehensive diagnosis of both articulation and use of phonological processes.

KINETIC DRAWING SYSTEM Assesses children’s perceptions of important relationships at home and at school.

LANGUAGE PROCESSING TEST (LPT-R) Assesses ability to organize information and assign meaning to auditory input.

LEARNING DISABILITY EVALUATION SCALE (LDES-R:2) Provides instructional personnel the opportunity to document performance behaviors most characteristic of learning disabilities in children and youth. This profile classifies whether the student’s difficulties are in the areas of Listening, Thinking, Speaking, Reading, Writing, Spelling, or Mathematical Calculations.

LEITER INTERNATIONAL PERFORMANCE SCALE (LEITER-R) Nonverbal intelligence test for ages 2 years through adult.

MOTOR FREE VISUAL PERCEPTION TEST (MVPT-3) Designed to assess visual perception in individual children but is frequently used with older individuals who have motor problems. May be used for screening, diagnostic, and research purposes, for all children, but especially those who have learning disabilities, motor impairments, physical disabilities, or mental retardation.

PEABODY DEVELOPMENT MOTOR SCALES & ACTIVITY CARDS Early childhood motor development program provides in-depth assessment and instructional programming for gross- and fine- motor skills.

Provides a thorough measure of receptive vocabulary and a quick estimate of verbal ability or scholastic aptitude.

PEABODY INDIVIDUAL ACHIEVEMENT TEST (PIAT-R/NU) Individual measure of academic achievement.

PIERS-HARRIS CHILDREN’S SELF CONCEPT SCALE Evaluates psychological health of children and adolescents, quickly identifying those who need further testing or treatment.

PRE-SCHOOL LANGUAGE ASSESSMENT INSTRUMENT (PLAI-2) Measures language level to indicate where to start instruction.

PRE-SCHOOL LANGUAGE SCALE (PLS-4) Measures language abilities in children from birth through age 6 in familiar, play-like testing situations.

RECEPTIVE-EXPRESSIVE EMERGENT LANGUAGE SCALE (REEL-3) A system of measurement and intervention planning based upon neurolinguistic development and is designed to help identify young children up to 3 years of age who have specific language problems.

REVISED CHILDREN’S MANIFEST ANXIETY SCALE (RCMAS-II) This scale helps pinpoint the problems in a child’s life. The brief self-report inventory measures the level and nature of anxiety in 6- to 19-year-olds. It provides scores for Total Anxiety and four subscales.

ROBERTS APPERCEPTION TEST FOR CHILDREN Measures adaptive and maladaptive functioning in ages 6-15.

SCALES OF INDEPENDENT BEHAVIOR (SIB-R) Measure of adaptive and problem behavior.

SOCIAL LANGUAGE DEVELOPMENT TEST-ELEMENTARY (SLDT) This test will substantiate the influence of students’ language disorders on their social disorders and qualify them for therapy.

SOCIAL RESPONSIVENESS SCALE (SRS) Measures the severity of social impairment associated with autism spectrum disorders.

STANFORD-BINET INTELLIGENCE SCALE (SB5) Comprehensive measurement of cognitive ability, including verbal and nonverbal skills.

STRUCTURED PHOTOGRAPHIC EXPRESSIVE LANGUAGE TESTS (SPELT-3) Uses color photographs paired with simple verbal questions and statements to elicit specific morphological and syntactic structures. Allows for analysis of specific language structures that do not occur in spontaneous samples. Child’s strengths and weaknesses can be readily seen.

TEST OF ADOLESCENT LANGUAGE-3 (TOAL-3) A measure of receptive and expressive language skills.

TEST OF AUDITORY PERCEPTUAL SKILLS (TAPS-3) A measure of function in auditory discrimination, auditory sequential memory, auditory word memory, auditory sentence memory, auditory interpretation of directions, and auditory processing (based on learning and thinking) along with a measurement of the hyperactivity of children in preschool to the 7th grade.

TEST FOR AUDITORY COMPREHENSION OF LANGUAGE (TACL-3) Measures auditory comprehension of language.

TEST OF EARLY LANGUAGE DEVELOPMENT (TELD-3) Measures the spoken language abilities of children ages 3-0 to 7-11, giving information on semantic and syntactic components.

TEST OF EARLY MATH ABILITY (TEMA-3) Measures the mathematics performance of children between the ages of 3-0 and 8-11 years and older with learning problems.

TEST OF EARLY READING ABILITY (TERA-3) Measures the actual reading ability of young children ages 3 to 9. Items assess knowledge of contextual meaning, alphabet, and conventions.

Measures the emerging written language skills of young children ages 3 to 7 and is especially useful in identifying students with mild disabilities.

TEST OF LANGUAGE COMPETENCE (TLC) Gives a measure of both receptive and expressive language with an emphasis on more abstract language skills.

TEST OF LANGUAGE DEVELOPMENT-PRIMARY (TOLD-P:4) Assesses spoken language in children ages 4 – 8. Identifies children who are significantly below their peers in oral language proficiency, determine their specific strengths and weaknesses in oral language skills, and documents their progress in remedial programs.

TEST OF MATH ABILITY (TOMA-2) Measures skills in story problems and computation in grades 3 through 12, plus information on attitude, vocabulary, and general cultural application.

TEST OF PHONOLOGICAL AWARENESS SKILLS (TOPAS) Helpful in identifying children, ages 5 through 10, who have problems in phonological awareness.

TEST OF PRAGMATIC LANGUAGE (TOPL-2) Identifies individuals with pragmatic language deficits, determines individual strengths and weaknesses, documents an individual’s progress, researches pragmatic language skills.

TEST OF PROBLEM SOLVING 2: ADOLESCENT (TOPS-2 ADOL) Identifies children’s strengths and weaknesses in problem-solving skills. For ages 12-17.

TEST OF PROBLEM SOLVING 3: ELEMENTARY (TOPS-3 ELEM) Identifies children’s strengths and weaknesses in problem-solving skills. For ages 6-12.

TEST OF READING COMPREHENSION (TORC-4) Measures silent reading comprehension for students 7-18 years of age. No oral reading is required, allowing students to concentrate on comprehension.

TEST OF VISUAL PERCEPTUAL SKILLS (TVPS-3) A measure of visual-perception skills. Assesses seven visual areas: Discrimination, Memory, Spatial Relationships, Form Constancy, Sequential Memory, Figure-Ground, and Closure.

TEST OF WRITTEN ENGLISH (TWE-3) - Informal test of written language skills to screen for student mastery in: capitalization, punctuation, written expression, and paragraph writing. Remedial activities are provided for each of the skill areas tested.

TEST OF WRITTEN LANGUAGE (TOWL-4) Uses both essay analysis (spontaneous) and traditional test (contrived) formats to assess various aspects of written language.

TEST OF WRITTEN SPELLING (TWS-3) Assesses student’s spelling of (a) words whose spellings are readily predictable in sound-letter patterns, (b) words whose spellings are less predictable, (c) both types together.

Widely used projective assessment for diagnosis, therapy and research. Uses series of 31 pictures as stimuli for stories and descriptions.

UNIVERSAL NONVERBAL INTELLIGENCE TEST (UNIT) Entirely nonverbal stimulus and response administration format. Three testing options including: abbreviated, Standard and Extended batteries. May be used with exceptional students including: mentally retarded, learning disabled, and gifted. Fair measure for deaf and hearing-impaired students. Designed to reduce situational sources of test bias. Uses multiple response modes including: manipulatives, paper and pencil, and pointing.

VINELAND ADAPTIVE BEHAVIOR SCALES-II A measure of personal and social skills from birth to adulthood.

WECHSLER ADULT INTELLIGENCE SCALE (WAIS-IV) An individually administered instrument used by trained clinical examiners as part of a cognitive assessment or general psychological or neuropsychological assessment to measure capacity for intelligent behavior.

WECHSLER INDIVIDUAL ACHIEVEMENT TEST (WIAT-III) A comprehensive measure for determining academic difficulties and learning disabilities.

WECHSLER INTELLIGENCE SCALE FOR CHILDREN (WISC-IV) The WISC-IV taps many different mental abilities that are aspects of a child’s intellectual functioning. Performance on these subtests reflects the child’s general intellectual ability and is summarized in three composite scores: Verbal IQ, Performance IQ, and Full Scale IQ.

WECHSLER NONVERBAL SCALE OF ABILITY (WNV) A nonverbal measure of ability for anyone. Especially designed for culturally and linguistically diverse groups.

WECHSLER PRESCHOOL AND PRIMARY SCALE OF INTELLIGENCE (WPPSI-III) A standardized measure of intellectual abilities in young children.

WIDE RANGE ASSESSMENT OF MEMORY AND LEARNING (WRAML-2) This instrument allows the user to evaluate an individual’s memory functioning, both immediate and delayed memory ability, as well as the acquisition of new learning.

WOODCOCK JOHNSON III NU TESTS OF ACHIEVEMENT (WJ-III ACH) A complete assessment of reading, mathematics, written language, and knowledge. The tests examine basic skills in each area, as well as application of those skills, sometimes in separate subtests and sometimes in a single subtest.

WOODCOCK JOHNSON III NU TESTS OF COGNITIVE ABILITY-II (WJ-III COG) Measure of cognitive abilities based on the Cattell-Horn-Carroll theory.

YOUNG CHILDREN’S ACHIEVEMENT TEST (YCAT) Identifies young children (from preschool through first grade) who are at risk for school failure.
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Special School District of St. Louis County (SSD) is a leader in providing special education services to students with disabilities and also provides a wide range of career and technical education programs.
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