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What Are the Various Professional Demands for the Consideration of Developmental Perspectives?

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What are the various professional demands for the consideration of developmental perspectives (i.e., required skills and competencies, accreditation standards, ethical considerations, etc.)?

School Psychology requires a lot of attention to human and child development, such as the following, but not limited to the areas of social and cognitive functioning, behavioral problems, and adaptability to a person’s environment, to name a few. According to the National Association of School Psychologists, one of the various jobs of a school psychologist within their profession is to conduct a variety of assessments and intervene at a more individualized and systemic level to promote more of a positive learning environment for the child/students.

There are key social skills that are essential for children when they enter school: their ability to develop positive relationships with their peers and adults, their ability to communicate emotions effectively, their ability to listen, and their ability to act in nonaggressive ways.  In the areas of social functioning, school psychs conduct assessments that will measure/screen for social functioning skills and whether the child is where they should be in their development. For example, we could possibly use an Autism rating scale if we get a referral that a child is behaving in ways other than the norm. This helps us get more of an understanding about the child’s behavior from people that interact with the child the most, on a day-to-day basis. Assessments that measure social functioning skills would also help school psychologists acquire more information on the child and their social skills to better understand how they are developing within the social domain and what and where is the issue so we can figure out where and how to intervene. If a child is falling somewhere between the Autism rating scale, it is appropriate, after conducting other measures and after deciding the Least Restrictive environment, to intervene and possibly place them in a classroom with special needs. This way the child will have a more positive learning environment within a classroom of children with similar needs and develop life skills they will use that will help them learn to be independent in their future (at least that’s the goal). The similar steps are taken when looking at a child’s behavioral problems and adaptive skills. It could be that the child is having behavioral problems at school for a variety of reasons that could include the teacher and the way they behave with the individual, the parents at home and the way they treat or behave with the individual, and even their socioeconomic status like living in poverty plays a role in a child’s development.

Furthermore, we must understand the student’s classroom and their school environment as well, to see how much and what really is playing a role in the child’s life within social functioning, behavioral problems and adaptive skills.

Also, these rating scales are norm-referenced, meaning they compare the student/child being rated in their behavior to similar developing children of the same age, nationally. Aside from using rating scales, we would do other measures such as look at permanent products, such as a child’s homework or classwork, as well as doing observations within the classroom and possibly within the home, so we get a sense of and actually observe first-hand how the child is also developing within the school as well as within their home.

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