News and Product Updates
We’ve partnered with PresenceLearning for school-based teams! You can now get access to remote administration of stimulus easels on the PresenceLearning platform for the following assessments:
- PPA Scale (Form A)
- OWLS-II (Form A)
Assessment Telepractice Overview
The well-being of you and your clients and students remains at the forefront of our concern during this world health crisis. Our hope is that this time with our families becomes an opportunity to build stronger relationships, both at home and with others remotely. A practitioner conducting remote evaluations for the first time needs support.
You are invited to read the WPS:
- Remote Assessment Guidelines
- Statement on Tele-assessment
- Assessment Validity Considerations during COVID-19
If you have specific requests or questions for your assessment, please contact us at email@example.com.
Need tips and advice?
Watch recorded webinars from our knowledgeable and trusted WPS Assessment Consultants and authors.
Marilyn Monteiro – How the Sensory-Based MIGDAS-2 Individualizes the Autism Diagnostic Process
(Download webinar slides here)
Sam Goldstein – Sustaining Your Resilience in Stressful Times Part 3: TENACITY: The Seven Instincts That Make Us Human
(Download webinar slides here)
Sam Goldstein – Sustaining Your Resilience in Stressful Times Part 2: Standing & Addressing the Cascade of Youth Risk
(Download webinar slides here)
Sam Goldstein – Sustaining Your Resilience in Stressful Times Part 1: Guidelines for Pediatric Mental Health Professionals
(Download webinar slides here)
Douglene Jackson – OT Assessment via Telehealth
Donna Black – Pandemic Distress: Navigating the Course with Social–Emotional Learning (SEL)
Stephanie Roberts – Separating Fact from Fiction in Online Assessment
Ashley Arnold – 7 Rating Scales Available Online Now
Already Familiar with Telepractice?
WPS has a wide range of online products that may be appropriately used for telepractice under certain conditions. Please keep in mind that local laws and regulations apply and must be considered first in each case.
The WPS Online Evaluation System increases clinical efficiency for the same price as print materials, allowing you to quickly administer and score many of the WPS assessments you know and trust. Use it with complete confidence because it’s HIPAA/FERPA compliant. You can:
- Administer locally or remotely
- Email links to online forms directly to raters
- Check the status of an administration at any time
- Consume the online form only when you score it
- Score quickly and easily; there’s no need for manual calculations
All available kits and online forms can be purchased here: wpspublish.com/online-assessment-search
We're here to help. For young people, this can be an especially challenging time as they process the changes prompted by COVID-19. Here are some resources for talking to young people about it and how to help them manage and cope with what they hear and see.
- Teaching children positive preventive measures, talking with them about their fears, and giving them a sense of some control over their risk of infection can help reduce anxiety
- Parents and caretakers of people with intellectual or developmental disabilities such as autism face unique hurdles in communicating about the coronavirus pandemic
- Autism expert Temple Grandin offers advice, knowing that children and adults with autism often have difficulty adjusting to changes, surprises, transitions, and disappointments
- Physical distance doesn’t have to mean social distance – even for children with language disorders
- Experts discuss questions that center around whether SLPs are essential practitioners at this critical time
- Whether you have a curious 5-year-old or a concerned teenager, here’s how to discuss this ever-evolving situation
- Webinar: Discussion on how we can grow our emotion regulation skills and apply them to a variety of situations
- Helping children cope with anxiety requires providing accurate prevention information and facts without causing undue alarm
- These resources can assist parents and students with questions about mental health, community mental health options, and special education programs and services
- Here are general recommendations for parents supporting social, emotional, and behavioral needs
FAQs: Assessment Telepractice
We’re addressing questions from you and your colleagues as they come in.
Can I administer a direct in-person measure remotely?
The assessments were not standardized in this way, and you should use your clinical judgment to carefully consider how any necessary adaptations will affect the results. Here is the WPS statement on tele-assessment and WPS remote assessment guidelines. You can also read the WPS Assessment Validity Considerations during COVID-19.
What do I need to assess from home?
Whether you have a PC or Mac, you'll need an understanding of national and state guidelines as well as familiarity with video conferencing. Here are links to professional organizations on getting started: ASHA, NASP, AOTA and APA. You can also view the WPS remote assessment guidelines for information on testing environments, preparations, and other considerations and requirements.
Are the standards for assessing remotely changing amid the COVID-19 pandemic?
Yes, states are allowing for an expanded use of telemedicine and telehealth services. Practitioners should review their local and state guidelines.
What other assessments can I use to evaluate someone remotely?
You can administer and score the following products, which require no adaptations for remote administration, via the WPS Online Evaluation System: ABAS-3, DP-4, Piers-Harris 3, RCMAS-2, RISE, SCQ, SMALSI, SPM, SPM Quick Tips, SPM-P, SPM-P Quick Tips, and SRS-2.
For performance tests, do you have data comparing remote administration vs. in-person administration?
Yes, a recent study compared performance on the Clinical Assessment of Pragmatics (CAPs) using remote administration vs. in-person administration, and the results suggest that test scores obtained through administering the CAPs remotely are equivalent to test scores obtained through standardized, in-person administration.
Can I administer the ADOS-2 remotely?
The ADOS-2 requires administration by a trained examiner who is in the same room as the examinee and in close contact, interacting with the same materials. As such, it is not possible to validly administer this assessment remotely. Administrations of the ADOS-2 should be delayed until it is possible to resume in-person contact. Specific to Module 4, although this module is less reliant on toys and materials than the other ADOS-2 modules, it still has required tasks that utilize materials, and the focus is still on the social interactions between examiner and examinee. Remote administration would require modifications to standard procedures, and such modifications are not recommended, as they are likely to change the social “press,” will limit the scope of observation, and may not produce valid results consistent with published research. Any administrations conducted in this manner should be for qualitative purposes only, and algorithms should not be used.
Can I validly administer the ADOS-2 while practicing social distancing and/or wearing personal protective equipment?
Administration of the ADOS-2 involves close contact and the use of shared materials. The focus of the assessment is on the social interaction between examiner and examinee, and maintaining an unusual physical distance for a social interaction and/or wearing a face mask/plastic face shield may change the nature of that social interaction in a variety of ways, such as by interfering with establishing rapport and obscuring facial expressions and spoken language. Data supporting the validity of the ADOS-2 are all based on administrations in which examiners engage with examinees without physical barriers and with a variety of physical distance depending on the specific activities being administered. Because of the unknown, yet likely, impact on validity, our recommendation is that ADOS-2 administrations be delayed until close in-person contact, without physical barriers, can be resumed. If ADOS-2 administrations are conducted prior to that time, the results should be interpreted with caution and used for qualitative purposes only.
Do you offer remote training for the ADOS-2?
We do not offer remote training workshops for the ADOS-2. However, the WPS DVD Training Package (W-605DVD) is the equivalent of the 2-day live training, with instruction in all five ADOS-2 modules. Please keep in mind that if you plan to use the ADOS-2 in research, you must attend an in-person training.
During COVID-19, can I use ADOS-2 activities in a nonstandard way to facilitate qualitative behavioral observations?
Conducting a standardized ADOS-2 evaluation during the current pandemic may not be possible. As such, many professionals are wondering whether the ADOS-2 activities can be used in a nonstandard way to facilitate qualitative behavioral observations during this time. No special permissions are needed from WPS to conduct nonstandard administrations, so long as original materials are used as provided by WPS (without any reprinting, digitization, translation, adaptation, etc.). In this situation, we recommend writing up the results by acknowledging the nonstandard nature of the administration. For example, the clinical report could state that an attempt was made to administer ADOS-2, but all criteria for validity were not met (describe the nonstandard administration that was conducted and why); then state that because of the nonstandard administration, formal scoring was not completed, and instead, qualitative observations were made from tasks that were administered (the tasks and the behavioral observations can then be described).
What is the BOSA, how can I access it, and how does it relate to the ADOS-2?
The BOSA (Brief Observation of Symptoms of Autism) is an experimental measure created by and available through Dr. Catherine Lord’s research team to accommodate ADOS-2 users during COVID-19. The BOSA provides a context of activities that can be presented by an examiner (e.g., caregiver, therapist) within a 12–14-minute observation. It can be observed live, through telehealth, or on recorded video. ADOS-2 coding is then applied to the observation, and a checklist is completed to indicate evidence of symptoms of autism. This experimental measure is being designed for clinicians and researchers with sufficient training and experience using the ADOS-2 who are seeking an alternative to the standardized ADOS-2 at the present time. Though WPS is facilitating the authors’ arrangements related to the BOSA, all questions about use and permitted access should be sent directly to the authors at the following address: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Can I assess someone remotely using the ADI-R?
While it is possible to conduct the ADI-R over a telephone or videoconferencing system, this particular method of administration has not been specifically validated. If necessary to conduct remotely, we recommend using a secure video-conferencing platform, in order to set up the administration to mimic face-to-face contact as much as possible. It is also important to keep in mind to not rush the administration and to help families participate with minimal distractions. The quality of information obtained will depend on the quality of the clinical interviewing process, so it is essential that elements of rapport be maintained during a video call just as would be the case in person. Remote administration is not ideal and should be viewed as a temporary solution until standard practices can be resumed.
Can I validly administer the MIGDAS-2 while practicing social distancing and/or wearing personal protective equipment? How about administering it remotely over a secure video-conferencing platform?
The MIGDAS-2 process uses sensory materials, conversation, and a visual framework to help evaluators gather and organize the qualitative information needed to diagnose autism in children, adolescents, and adults. This process includes guidelines for gathering information from parents/caregivers and teachers and for conducting a sensory-based interview with the individual being evaluated. The interview is intended to be an interactive and dynamic social interaction. As with any social interaction, maintaining an unusual physical distance and/or wearing a face mask/plastic face shield may change the nature of that social interaction in a variety of ways, such as by interfering with establishing rapport and obscuring facial expressions and spoken language. In this sense, the MIGDAS-2 interview may be impacted by social distancing and personal protective equipment. Although the interaction itself may be affected, the evaluator may still be able to make informative observations and gain useful qualitative information from the interaction. In addition, the questionnaires can provide information from the point of view of parents/caregivers and teachers to consider alongside the interactive evaluation.
The MIGDAS-2 materials can be particularly useful as a guide to conducting the parent and teacher interviews through a secure video-conferencing platform. The process can also help guide a virtual interview conversation with the individual being evaluated. With school-aged verbally fluent children and adolescents, for example, the virtual conversation with the child and parents in their home setting can start by having the child share interests and show favorite items they have with them at home. Children often show materials that have distinctive sensory properties, allowing the evaluator to share an exchange related to the child’s areas of preferred interest and observe the child interacting with preferred materials.
This type of shared object-focused exchange between the evaluator and child is generally not possible during a remote observation for children with limited to no verbal fluency, however, the MIGDAS-2 protocol can still serve as a useful guide for observing the nonverbal child within his or her familiar environment, with access to preferred objects. For example, social communication features that are consistent with ASD can be readily observed during the child’s interactions with his or her parents who are present remotely, and with siblings if they are there as well.
A MIGDAS-2 virtual interview conversation works well with adults being evaluated. Because the adult interview includes sensory information currently and by history, the lack of in-person access to sensory fidgets is not as limiting as it is with children and adolescents. During the conversation, the evaluator can observe routines that may be displayed with body movements, use of objects, and thematic topics of interest.
While the results of all evaluations with any assessment measure should be interpreted with care during the current pandemic, and it’s important to specify the conditions under which diagnostic information is gathered, the qualitative focus of the MIGDAS-2 allows the evaluator to gather the necessary information to begin the process of recognizing neurodiversity without emphasizing diagnostic terminology. The information gathered through the MIGDAS-2 process helps the evaluator consider all sources of available information (e.g., observations, rating scales) and facilitates writing a narrative evaluation report that describes useful treatment recommendations. These recommendations include identifying brain style strengths and differences, coaching the development of necessary skills, introducing positive supports, and providing individualized tools to address regulation, organizational, and social/emotional needs.
If you don’t see your questions answered, please submit your question below.
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