Assessment is the process of gathering and interpreting information about individual students for the
purpose of educational decision‐making.
A a physician’s referral is not required to conduct an occupational or physical therapy evaluation.

Assessment Frameworks

Assessment frameworks guide evaluation considerations, therapeutic reasoning, and structure the provision of therapeutic services.

The International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health

The Occupational Therapy Practice Framework: Domain and Process, 2nd Edition (Framework–II)

AOTA's "OT in Schools" re: Evaluation

My Child Was Recently Evaluated by an OT, and I Have Some Concerns About the Test Used. Are There Particular Tests That Should Be Used?
Occupational therapists are responsible for determining the need for OT services. This is done via the data collection (evaluation) process, of which administering a particular test is only one part. The therapist may use screening, standardized or non-standardized tests, depending on the need and type of information sought, which in this case should be directly related to your child's ability to function and be successful in school. While there is not one particular assessment tool that "should be used," the therapist should be familiar with a variety of methods to gather the necessary information and to make an informed decision.

US Department of Education: IDEA 2004
Questions and Answers On Individualized Education Programs (IEPs), Evaluations, and Reevaluations
**Revised September 2011**

Assessment Procedures and Protocol
See Legal Framework Evaluation Procedures for Federal and State Requirements
In conducting the evaluation, the LEA must use a variety of assessment tools and strategies to gather relevant functional, developmental, and academic information, including information provided by the parent, that may assist in determining:
  • Are administered by trained and knowledgeable personnel; and
  • Assessments and instruments are selected and administered so as to best ensure that the assessment results accurately reflect the child's aptitude or achievement level or whatever other factors the test purports to measure, rather than reflecting the child's impaired sensory, manual, or speaking skills (unless those are the skills the test purports to measure);
  • The child is assessed in all areas of suspected disability, including, if appropriate, health, vision, hearing, social and emotional status, general intelligence, academic performance, communicative status, and motor abilities;

Best Practices in Evaluation:
  • Above bullets and
  • Student-centered
  • Student performance is assessed over multiple dates and time
  • Student performance is assessed in natural settings in addition to pull-out setting
  • Assessment uses a top-down approach, looking holistically at function and participation, and then if needed, looking at more specific performance skills.

Excerpts from School-Based Occupational and Physical Therapy: A Practice Guide (Fall 2011)
It is recommended that occupational and physical therapy evaluations utilize a participation‐based (top‐down) approach that places overall importance on the student’s role, participation, and social engagement within the
educational environment. The primary focus of the evaluation is to identify problems and concerns related to these functional areas.

To help explain possible causes of the participation restriction, the therapist must describe the student’s functional performance in areas where these restrictions were observed. In addition, the therapist must utilize appropriate assessment tools to pinpoint underlying impairments that affect performance and participation. This process may require the use of several evaluation tools, ranging from observation to basic tests and measures, and standardized assessments. When reporting these findings on the OT or PT evaluation report, the therapist must articulate how these limitations and impairments affect the student’s ability to participate in his/her educational program. This will assist the IEP team in deciding whether an occupational or physical therapy service would be appropriate for the student’s IEP. (pg. 8)

Houston ISD FIE Writer Checklist/Rubric- incorporating best practices

OT/PT Evaluation Report Templates

See Legal Framework's "Documents" Tab > FIE > Related Services Addendum Report
This document is still a work in progress and is adapted from HCDE form. Additions are made in different colored text and include updated assessment tools, and wording.

Assessments of Functional Skills: Occupational and Physical Therapy (FL)

Standardized Assessment Tools

Assistive Technology Assessment Protocols

AIM Navigator

Assessment Tools at ESC 13 Loaning Library (ex: Sensory Profile 2, Sensory Processing Measure, Written Prodictivity Profile (WPP), GMFM, etc)