Children with hearing loss are a very diverse group. When most of the students we served were functionally Deaf and educated in center-based programs the Meadow-Kendall Social-Emotional Inventories
that were normed on this population were very appropriate to use to assess these areas of need. Now most of our students spend the majority of time in the mainstream and it is most appropriate to compare their social/emotional needs to those of their typically hearing class peers. Thus, this long-used assessment should no longer be the ‘go to’ for most of our students. So what can we use?
When school psychologists perform a social/emotional assessment the usual areas of need they are most likely to identify are impulsivity, lack of ability to attend, depression, or non-compliant behavior. Although our students can experience these issues, the hearing loss may cause behaviors that suggest
these issues but the behavior is due to hearing loss and not other issues. For example, if the teacher completed the Connors Behavior Rating Scale
a student with hearing loss may seem off task and inattentive when the real reason is fragmented hearing and not receiving all of the information, or excessive effort to listen resulting in periods of distractibility. Likewise, the Behavior Assessment System for Children
may identify a child as depressed, when instead the student is hyperfocused on trying to get information auditorilly and visually and seems to have little affect or interaction.
Online Game to Assess and Improve Social/Emotional Skills
Created by a team of researchers, artists, and game developers, Zoo U is the only research-proven online game that assesses and improves children’s social and emotional skills.
These skills include:
- impulse control and self-management
- emotion regulation
- communicating effectively
- showing empathy
- social initiation
- cooperating with others
o Developed with funding from the US Department of Education. Zoo U is geared toward students in grades K through 5 and can be administered to one child or to many children at once. Because the assessment is a game, children stay engaged and motivated. In Zoo U, players are students in a school for future zookeepers, where Principal Wild and a host of friendly animals help them learn social and emotional skills as they navigate common school-based social scenarios. Educators can sign up for a free trial of Zoo U
. Find out more about the Zoo U games
The key is the need to have someone on the evaluation team (YOU
) who can discuss the results of these measures with the team in terms of the ‘DHH Lens’. Adding teacher checklist information about specific behaviors that are of most concern for students with hearing loss and discussing the results with the evaluation team in addition to other testing performed can help you to ‘make the case’ that there may be more social and emotional challenges than are easily identified by using standard measures alone.
SPECIFIC ASSESSMENT SUGGESTIONS
1) Social-Emotional Assessment/Evaluation Measure
is completed by parents of infants, toddlers and preschoolers (up to 66 months). Preschool teachers can also complete the form. It is most useful if parents/teachers review skill development and identify areas of concern over time.
2) Social Language Development Test
is a norm-referenced test that delves into pragmatic language use, social cognition, making inferences, peer negotiation and multiple interpretations of social information. Grades 1-6. Low performance in any of these areas is likely – in combination with hearing loss – to impact social interaction.
3) Pragmatic Language Skills Inventory
is a teacher checklist that can be completed in 10 minutes. Great psychometrics allow this Inventory to be used to identify functional social language issues. For children ages 5 through 12. It has 3 subscales: Personal Interaction Skills, Social Interaction Skills, and Classroom Interaction Skills.
4) Children’s Peer Relationship Scale
can provide very useful information about how isolated or integrated a child feels. Although it is not normed, this data can add insights to the results of other test measures.
5) Children’s Loneliness and Social Dissatisfaction Scale
is designed to assess children in grades 3-6. Simple to administer and score, this scale has psychometric properties to identify students who are socially rejected and/or who feel lonely in regard to their school relationships.
6) Does this student have a poor self concept?
This checklist asks the classroom teacher or the DHH teacher in discussion with the classroom teacher to consider 15 behaviors. All items are presented negatively, such as “Expreses feelings of not belonging” or “Gives up easily.” This checklist is not normed but can provide very important insights to consider in addition to other assessment information.
7) Think About It Quiz i
s a checklist for teens to assess self-concept. It asks the teen to judge themselves against their peers in five different domains, including peer acceptance. There is a cut off score to identify areas of concern.
8) Social skills checklists
can also be completed by the teacher, such as the Social Skills Checklist (Pre-K/Elementary), Social Skills Checklist (Secondary) and The Social Attributes Checklist.
If we truly tailor assessment so that the vulnerable areas of development specific to the access issues of hearing loss are considered AND we examine functional performance in a classroom setting (or predictive measures) I believe that most children with hearing loss can be found to be eligible for specialized instruction and related services. Refer to Steps to Assessment for case examples and specifics on assessment.
Social Communication in Challenging Situations: The Child Role Play Measure
for ages 7-10 years. This measure provides role play situations that can then be scored to identify if children have typical responses to challenging
Minnesota Social Skills Checklist for Students who are Deaf or Hard of Hearing
Updated June 2019.