Assessment is the process of systematically gathering information as part of an evaluation. Evaluation is a broader term that refers to all of the methods used to find out what happens as a result of using a specific intervention or practice. The knowledge that practitioners and families gain as a result of evaluating a practice through assessment helps them understand the effects of the intervention, make appropriate changes to a current practice, or plan new interventions, if needed. For example, in Tamiya’s case, gathering information in the first few days and weeks in her new classroom setting can help the team determine if additional strategies are needed to support her successful adjustment to the classroom environment.
To learn how the transition planning process is working, Melanie A. and Tamiya’s family will need to gather information to help them evaluate how well Tamiya is adjusting to her new setting and to add supports as needed so that she can progress in learning new skills. Communication methods between the family and practitioners should be established so they can make program changes quickly to accommodate Tamiya’s needs.