Early Childhood Assessment Center

Acting Early Childhood Department Head

Tammy Murray, DOT, M.Ed.
Murrayt@worcesterschools.net
508-799-3055

The early childhood assessment center offers young children with suspected disabilities the opportunity to take part in screenings and/or an interdisciplinary comprehensive evaluation at our early childhood assessment center (ECAC).  Our center provides an opportunity for families and caregivers to partner with school staff and outside agencies to support the learning of our youngest students.  The WPS believes that early identification of disabilities is important to a child’s success in the school.

Services include:

  • Comprehensive evaluations targeting suspected area(s) of disability
  • Weekly community playgroups open to all children under the age of 5
  • Develop Individual Education Plans (IEP) when appropriate
  • Determine appropriate preschool placement when appropriate
  • Parent education and workshops (e.g. readiness, fine/gross motor, behavior, speech and language)

Signs a child may need to be screened or evaluated:

  • If a child began talking later than expected
  • If a child is not understood by others
  • If a child has difficulty expressing his/her thoughts or ideas
  • If a child has difficulty understanding spoken language
  • If a child doesn’t know their name or respond to it
  • If a child has a difficult time playing with other children or adults appropriately using a variety of toys/objects
  • If a child has a difficult time following simple one step directions
  • If a child has a difficult time assisting with undressing/dressing
  • If a child has a difficult time independently drinking from a cup and/or using a spoon or fork
  • If a child avoids fine motor activities (i.e. using crayons to scribble, holding and grasping small objects such as blocks and craft activities which involve finger dexterity)
  • If a child has a difficult time performing gross motor activities (i.e. walking, sitting, balancing, large muscle coordination and go up/down stairs with support)
  • If a child has a regression of skills already learned

If you believe your child does have a disability, please call us at your earliest convenience so that we may expedite an evaluation to determine eligibility. By working together, we can ensure the healthy growth of the future generation and provide the foundation for lifelong learning.

Staffing

The early childhood evaluations are individualized and based on the student’s suspected area of disability. The early childhood team has the following staff available to administer assessments:

Early Childhood Teacher – works to assess academic readiness and social emotional skills to determine if children age three to five require intervention. 

Speech and Language Pathologist (SLP)-works to assess language, social communication, cognitive-communication, and swallowing disorders in children to determine the need for intervention.  

Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA) - works to assess behavior and social emotional development and determines the need for intervention.

Occupational Therapist (OT) - works to assess fine motor, self-help and visual motor/perceptual skills to determine the need for intervention.

Physical Therapist (PT) - works to assess gross motor and safety skills to determine the need for intervention.

Additional Staffing may include: nursing, vision and the deaf/ hard of hearing team

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