A Brief Introduction to iDDDC
iDDDC is a one-stop online diagnostic clinic where it provides a very niched service rarely found in the education field. In iDDDC, the clinic offers practical information and jargon-free explanations such that the Consultee will not end up having a report laden with technical details. It exists to serve in situations where parents, guardians, and teachers (at this moment known as Consultee) can seek a diagnostic evaluation of their children’s (at this moment known as Client) skills and abilities based on the results already obtained from psycho-educational as well as other professional (e.g., medical) assessments.
Our iDDDC professionals (at this moment known as Consultant) are currently practicing full-time therapists, counselors, psychologists, allied educators in the field of special and inclusive education. All of them have their Doctorates, Masters, and professional qualifications. A diagnostic case review report (DCRR) will issue once the evaluation completed. It will send to the Consultee/Client via the email address provided to the clinic.
Why a Diagnostic Case Review Report?
Guardians, parents, and teachers often ask about the child’s condition, especially, why is the child not learning? Why is s/he behaving differently from others? Can she/he ever learn or behave? What exactly is the child’s issue(s) of concern? The list of questions can go on.
The accuracy of the DCRR issued depends heavily on the information about the concerned child as provided by the Consultee. The information includes recent and past assessment reports, school test reports, medical reports, etc. that the Consultee can provide to DDDC via its e-Submission portal. If there is insufficient information, the DDDC Administrator will request to advise the Consultee to provide the necessary supporting documents or additional information.
In the event additional tests are needed to give a complete picture, the Consultant will email the required tests to the Consultee for completion. Separate charges may be applicable.
The DCRR is not an official report to use in the application for
In spite of the above stated, the DCRR is still a very useful document. While most reports focus on either educational or therapeutic interventions, the DCRR sees cases from the blend and synergy of disciplines like special education, neuropsychology, psychological evaluations as well as the psychodynamic aspects of early childhood, childhood, adolescence and young adult.
Procedure of Submission
All names and reports submitted via iDDDC will be kept fully confidential. The Consultees’ and Clients’ and Consultants’ names will not be disclosed to anyone as well as to each other. In this way, our policy on the Consultee’s, Client’s as well as Consultant’s personal/familial privacy will be strictly adhered.
What DDDC requires for e-Submission
DDDC has adopted the Hierarchy of Skills and Abilities postulated by Chia (2012) (see Figure 1) for its diagnostic evaluation.
For submission of the following test reports, please scan and save in respective files. Drag and copy them in the individual boxes below:
Foundation Block I Intelligence Test Results
Block II Sensory Behavior Test Results
Block III Adaptive Behavior Test Results
Block IV Socio-Emotional Test Results
Block V Cognitive Abilities Test Results
For those who are not sure what information needed for e-Submission, please read on to get a better understanding of what these tests are for each block of the skills and abilities.
Skills and Abilities: What are they?
There is a difference between skills and abilities. Skills are abilities. However, skill is a composite of abilities, techniques, and knowledge (DB.net, 2018; Julita, 2011). They are the ones that make a person do tasks at a higher degree or standard with goal-oriented expectations of improvements or positive changes in an individual’s performance.
DB.net (2018) and Julita (2011) have provided a summary of skills and abilities:
Whether a child can perform well academically depends on the hierarchy of skills and abilities as proposed by Chia (2012). There are five block levels.
Foundation Block: Innate Abilities
Learning built on the innate abilities which are inherited and genetically coded at birth. Although a child’s upward ceiling performance is defined by multiple innate abilities or what Gardner (2008) has termed multiple intelligences, how near the child comes to performing at those upper limits is determined by other elements such as interest and motivation necessary to learning (Franken, 2002). It is these innate abilities that the child is assessed using an IQ test to determine if he/she is highly-able, able, less-able or disabled in his/her performance as a learner.
Some examples of standardized assessment: Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children (WISC), Stanford-Binet Intelligence Test (SBIT), Slosson Full-Range Intelligence Test (S-FRIT), Wide Range Intelligence Test (WRIT), Pictorial Test of Intelligence (PTI), Slosson Intelligence Test (SIT), etc.
Block II: Sensory-Perceptual-Motor Coordination Skills & Abilities
Sensory-perceptual-motor coordination skills and abilities developed from the foundation of the child’s innate abilities. It covers sensory perception and motor coordination skills and abilities which are partially determined by genetic code and partly acquired through repeated interaction with the environment (Chia, 2008). Such skills can improve with proper practice. Sensory perceptual skills refer to those such as vision, hearing, touch, smell, and taste. These exteroceptive senses are most essential for receiving information. Psychomotor skills and abilities (include interoceptive senses, i.e., vestibular and proprioceptive senses) relate to muscles and movement, body position or posture, and include crawling, walking, running, handwriting, and speaking. Psychomotor skills give expression to the information our senses receive and process. If there be any deficiency in any of these skills, the intervention approach should include sensory integration therapy, occupational therapy and physical therapy (Chia, 2008).
Some examples of standardized assessment: Sensory Profile (SP) which includes several different versions such as Infant, Toddler, Child, Adolescent/Adult, Caregiver, School Companion, etc., and Sensory Integration and Praxis Tests (SIPT), etc.
Block III: Adaptive Behavioral Skills & Abilities
Adaptive behavioral skills and abilities as an essential learning process refer to “the effectiveness or degree with which an individual meets the standards of personal independence and social responsibility expected of his/her age and social group” (Grossman, 1973, p.11). This broad spectrum of skills and abilities are covered across the different levels of lifespan development.
During infancy and early childhood, the adaptive behavioral process of learning covers sensory-motor skills, communication skills, self-help skills, and social skills.
Later, during the period of late childhood and early adolescence, this block of skills and abilities will cover the application of basic academic skills in everyday life activities, application of appropriate reasoning and judgment in a mastery of the environment, and social skills.
Finally, during late adolescence and adulthood, it concerns vocational and social responsibility and performance.
For any child with adaptive behavioral deficits, an assessment such as the Vineland Adaptive Behavior Scales-2nd Edition (VABS-2) or Adaptive Behavior Development Scale (ABDS) will be needed to know the child’s adaptive behavioral issues of concern. The intervention approach will include, for example, the applied behavior analysis (ABA) which involves systematically arranging environmental events to produce desired changes in his/her behavior (Chia, 2008).
Some examples of standardized assessment: Vineland Adaptive Behavior Scales-2nd Edition (VABS-2) or Adaptive Behavior Development Scale (ABDS).
Block IV: Social-Emotional Skills & Abilities
Socio-emotional skills and abilities comprise of adaptive, internalizing, and externalizing behavioral skills (Pulkkinen, Kaprio, & Rose, 2006) and are concerned with what is known as excellent people skills. All these skills is dependent on an individual’s motivational needs (Maslow, 1943) as well as his/her mind (perception), personal belief, emotions, and maturity level that is developing throughout his/her lifetime. This termed as psychosocial development (Erikson, 1950). The socio-emotional domain encompasses qualities that are pre-requisites for socially acceptable behaviors in children, such as desirable interests, attitudes, values, and character development (Kratiwohi, Bloom, & Massa, 1964). Learning in this domain is often challenging because of its subjective nature.
“Unlike sensory-motor and cognitive skills that can be evaluated by written examination or practical testing, socio-emotional behavioral skills are difficult to identify, quantify, and assess” (Chia, 2008, p. 30). Hence, the intervention approach to remedy deficits in this area of concern includes social skill training, behavior modification, play therapy and counseling.
Some examples of standardized assessment: Scales for Assessment of Emotional Disturbance (SAED), Social and Academic Behavior Risk Screener (SABRS), Emotion Regulation Questionnaire (ERQ), Self-Esteem Index (SEI), etc.
Block V: Cognitive Skills & Abilities
Cognitive skills and abilities involved in learning are essential to children processing sensory information they receive. These include their ability to plan, organize, analyze, synthesize, evaluate, retain information, recall experiences, make comparisons, and determine action (Giles, 2005). Although learning as a cognitive process has prior component, its bulk of cognitive skills are learned or deliberately acquired. When this development fails to take place naturally, cognitive weaknesses are the result, and they diminish a child’s ability to learn and are difficult to correct without specific and suitable intervention. Cognitive skills and abilities can be practiced and improved with the right teaching. Using the appropriate strategy, the brain of a struggling learner can be ‘rewired’ and cognitive function can be restored or enhanced (Goswami, 1998). Feuerstein, Rand, and Hoffman (1979) and Feuerstein et al (2002) have termed this ability as cognitive modifiability. While weak cognitive skills can strengthen, normal cognitive skills can be enhanced to increase ease and performance in learning. That is why enrichment programs such as phonics, speech, and drama offered outside the regular school system still play an important role in educating the child.
Some examples of standardized assessment: Schonell Graded Spelling Test, Carver Word Recognition Test, Burt Graded Reading Test, Neale Analysis of Reading Ability, Test of Mathematical Abilities, GAP Reading Comprehension Test, Test of Written Language, Holborn Reading Test, etc.
All the building blocks of skills and abilities for successful learning and socially acceptable behavior are essential for a child studying academic subjects such as Mathematics and Science informal instruction or pedagogy. Although the knowledge base of each academic subject can expand, without the proper foundation of earlier learning and behavioral skills and abilities, academic progress can become a frustrating and challenging, especially to those children with disabilities and disorders. Hence, intervention is very much dependent on an accurate diagnostic psycho-educational assessment and evaluation of these building blocks to design an appropriate individualized intervention plan to help such children.
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