This module presents the next two of nine critical questions that must be asked during the caregiver interview. The first asks what the child is like compared to peers from his speech community. This is one of the fundamental differences between a traditional approach to evaluations and the new approach supported by research, federal, state and New York City policy and law. In a traditional approach, the child is compared to a normative group from a standardized test that is not representative of minority and diverse children. The traditional approach subjects the child to the biases of the mainstream, middle class American culture of the standardized tests and often from the examiner as well. The new approach seeks to compare the child to other children with similar backgrounds and experiences. That is why it is crucial for evaluators to know typical child language development for the communities where they work and to develop good clinical judgment. The second critical question asks whether the child’s performance during the evaluation is typical. Children may be shy, not feeling well, or confused when in an unfamiliar place with unfamiliar people. This is important information to know when diagnosing a child based on the behavior the evaluator sees on the day of the evaluation.
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