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Brigance testing


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I saw on the HSLDA site that Brigance tests work well for children with special needs, learning delays and the like. I am still in the process of getting a formal diagnosis for my dd6, and we are enrolled in a cover school that does not require testing,but... I would like to test anyway just for my records and to show some sort of progress even if she may not be on grade level.

If you have used this test, I would be thankful for any info that you could share about it. I saw that it was almost a $100 to rent from HSLDA. Wow. Anywhere else that you can order it from? Do you need to have a bachelors degree, a teaching license, or any other requirement to administer the test?

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BRIGANCE Special Education


The three tests HSLDA is renting are the yellow, green, and blue tests at this link.  For a 6/7 yo, you'd be using the yellow test.  One of the intriguing things about this test is it gives you a way to quantify a number of things you might be seeing but not able to put your hand on.  I recently did an adaptive living scale assessment with my ds, and it's striking how much you're seeing but missing at the same time.  I think for that reason alone it's novel and worth considering.  


I let my membership in HSLDA lapse, or it would be an intriguing option!  Indeed, in our state we are required to do standardized testing or a portfolio review (or other methods agreed on), and the Brigance does have a standardized option.  I think that's always good.  I think at 6, it's sort of iffy about testing, but yes by 7 or 8, that's a really good time to be getting those baselines from year to year, absolutely.  I think your idea for how to use it seems reasonable.  It's not giving you a diagnosis or a WISC or the detailed info you'd get from those.  It looks like it's achievement and adaptive living.


I'm looking at this some more, and one of the intriguing things about it is getting actual grade levels, not just the percentile comparisons.  Like, if you do the Iowa, a grade level there actually only tells you at what grade level 50% of kids would have the score your kid got.  Big whoop.  What you want to know is what their ACTUAL grade level is of reading, spelling, whatever.  The only test *I* know of that does that (not that I know everything, lol) for an affordable price is the Woodcock Johnson, and even that is not affordable if you have a psych do it.  I got it through a tutor for $75 once, which was a huge deal!  


To me, I really like having actual grade levels in achievement testing.  Read their info and see what it's giving you, but I'm saying that has been a real gap in caring for our kids, that it was hard to get that actual data affordably.  


Now, a couple reminders you may already know.  The ps will run achievement testing, WISC, CTOPP, etc. etc. for FREE.  The ps will re-run those tests every 3 years unless there's some radical reason to do it earlier.  So that is another way to get that done if you know you have SN.  They're federally mandated to identify, so they have to do the testing.  I'm just saying that's another way to get it if you're content with once every three years.  Or mix it up, doing evals one year and Brigance the other two.  


Yeah, it took me a while to figure out why you would want this.  It doesn't say anything about tester qualifications/restrictions.  You score your own.  Honestly, I'll bet our state would sorta raise their eyebrows at accepting that.  Maybe not, but I'm just saying.  But when it's for your own purposes...  


If the dc is *able* to do a standardized test, at least with accommodations (you filling in the bubbles, whatever her IEP would say), then another option, less thorough but also significantly less expensive, is the CAT.  Several places have it (Seton, CLP, etc.), and it's usually around $25.  That satisfies my state testing requirements and is what I have often used with my dd.  My ds, well honestly I think it (traditional standardized testing like the CAT or Iowa) would be a horrendous flop.  We're probably going to find an intervention specialist and do a portfolio review.  He's performing at ability level, and spending days and days at standardized testing to show he can't do stuff because he has significant SLDs is sort of discouraging.  That's not what I need to reinforce.


Do they have samples?  Sometimes these tests are nifty.  I know on the Woodcock Johnson it's done with a tester, no filling in bubbles.  There's no ceiling, so you basically start with simple simple questions a typical preschooler could answer and have content going up through college in the case of the WJ.  So if that's how the Brigance is administered, that can be a kind of positive thing, because you're not emphasizing what they DON'T know, kwim?  


Now, a little funny oddity.  What is the probability that your student will memorize the questions?  If you're going to be giving the same assessment year after year, that could happen with some kids.  


If you do us, tell us about the methodology and how it goes.   :)

Edited by OhElizabeth
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