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(DASH-3) Developmental Assessment for Individuals with Severe Disabilities Third Edition, Complete Kit.
(DASH-3-1) Developmental Assessment for Individuals with Severe Disabilities
The DASH-3 is a criterion-referenced measure of specific skill levels in persons of all ages who have severe and/or multiple physical/sensory disabilities, including persons with severe and profound intellectual disability (“mental retardation”) and autism spectrum disorders. The scales are also appropriate for individuals with mild to moderate disabilities; those who have single disabling conditions (e.g., individuals with visual impairment or paraplegia), and children who are functioning chronologically from birth to 6 years of age.
The DASH-3 (1) provides an initial assessment for intervention planning, (2) tracks individual progress for persons with severe and/or multiple disabilities aged 6 months through adulthood, and (3) evaluates individuals with other types of disabilities who require a detailed assessment for intervention planning. At intake, the DASH-3 can be used to estimate developmental level, analyze developmental strengths and weaknesses, select skills most ready for targeted intervention, and determine types of support needed by the individual (e.g., assistance from others, visual supports, modified equipment). It can be used to develop educational and therapeutic intervention plans, such as Individual Education Plan (IEPs) and Individual Family Support Plans (IFSPs). For comprehensive assessment, all five scales will be required; however, the specific clinical or referral questions may require administration of fewer scales (e.g., a speech pathologist may choose to only administer the Language Scale).
Because the DASH–3 items identify specific behaviors and scoring criteria describe graduated levels of support, it may be used to track progress with targeted skills, so that timely changes may be made to the individual’s intervention program (e.g., promoting a greater level of independence with a particular skill, targeting a new skill). Also, the DASH-3 may be re-administered at different times (e.g., at one year intervals) to track general developmental change. For individuals who move often, the DASH-3 may transition with the individual, so that appropriate goals, interventions and recent performance data continue without having to wait for an assessment to be conducted or intervention priorities to be determined.
The DASH–3 has five scales that assess an individual’s ability to demonstrate relevant skills in a developmental sequence.
1.Sensory–Motor Scale: This scale measures the ability to receive and respond to environmental stimuli, as well as move reflexively and voluntarily. It has four subscales: Reflexes, Gross Motor, Sensory, and Hand Skills.
2.Language Scale: This scale measures the ability to understand and use communicative behaviors and purposeful language. The subscales are nonsymbolic communication skills (N), expressive language (E), or receptive language (R).
3.Social–Emotional Scale: This scale assesses awareness and understanding of self and of others, including interactions with others and social skills.
4.Activities of Daily Living Scale: This scale measures an individual’s level of self-sufficiency and personal independence relative to daily living skills. This scale has five subscales: Feeding, Dressing, Toileting, Home Routines, and Travel and Safety.
5.Academics Scale: This scale measures the ability to learn and use information related to concept formation, basic reading skills, and number skills. It has two subscales: Preacademic Skills and Academic Skills.
The examiner can complete each scale using any of three methods: (a) direct observation by the examiner during evaluative sessions, (b) interview of others who know the person well (e.g., parents, teachers), or (c) independent completion of the scales by people who know the person well with follow-up by the examiner. Data collected through direct observation by the examiner are considered to be most valid, though the other methods may be preferred when time is a factor or when comparing the individual’s skills across settings (e.g., home and school).
In addition to the five scales, the DASH-3 system includes three accompanying forms to assist in developing intervention priorities and strategies and track progress.
1.Cumulative Summary Sheet – Scores from up to three DASH-3 administrations can be recorded on this sheet. This summary sheet allows the examiner to quickly compare performance across each of the five scales, as well as to evaluate progress over time. This form also provides opportunity to estimate the individual’s overall developmental age level through by averaging the five scale scores.
2.Intervention Planning Worksheet – This form provides a basis for identifying skills most appropriate for intervention for up to three administrations of the DASH-3. It allows for easy identification of skills that could not be determined due to task resistance, skills performed independently, and skills that are considered priorities for intervention.
3.Comprehensive Program Record – This form is used to document the individual’s ongoing progress in achieving targeted skills through recording of “performance level” data across weeks. This form provides the basis for making timely decisions regarding intervention for each targeted skill (e.g., changes regarding instructional strategies, adaptive supports).
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