Ms. Thornton's Complete Evaluation of Mark Hartmann

Report of Educational Evaluation

Name: Mark Hartmann
Dates of Evaluation: June 28, June 30, July 1, July 12, 1994
Evaluator: Cathy A. Thornton, M.A.
Date of Birth: 8-21-85
Age at Testing: 8-10


Mark is an 8 year 10 month old who has a medical diagnosis of Autism. Mr. and Mrs. Hartmann requested that Mark receive an independent educational evaluation to try to assess his current skill development, particularly in the areas of Reading and Math. Mark is a nonverbal child who communicates via facial expressions/gestures, sounds, and uses a Canon communicator with and without facilitation. He has been attending Ashburn Elementary school in Loudoun County, Vrrginia since Fall of1993. During the 1993-94 school year Mark was placed in a regular second grade classroom with support provided by an Instructional Assistant. Prior to this placement Mark had been successfully involved in a full "inclusion" program in Illinois. He was provided with adult support in this placement, also.

Mark was evaluated over a four day period. Four subtests from the Woodcock-Johnson Tests of Achievement were. selected to assess Mark's reading and math skills. These included Letter-Word Identification, Passage Comprehension, Calculation, and Applied Problems. More than five hours were spent modifying the subtests to compensate for Mark's inability to provide verbal responses and to ensure his ability to visually identifY and discriminate test items. Such modifications included enlarging small printed words, providing printed instructions, using concrete objects when possible, blocking out extra visual stimuli, and allowing Mark to point in a multiple choice type manner. Mark was also allowed ample "wait time" to respond to test items. This often meant waiting 3 to 5 minutes for a response, however, this time was needed to allow Mark to demonstrate his abilities. Although Mark utilizes a Canon communicator, this device was not readily available throughout the evaluation sessions due to the fact that the battery was not charged.
Mrs. Hartmann and Lueanne White were present during most of the sessions. Mrs. Hartmann was invited to observe so that she might provide input and suggestions as to possible ways pf obtaining the most accurate results. It was also felt that it might be beneficial for her to observe Mark's ability to respond in this particular type of situation. Mrs. White is a co-worker who was present to take notes on Mark's behavior and responses. "

Mark was evaluated at a small table in his basement where he is accustomed to working. He came readily with this examiner and was cooperative during sessions. In fact, he was often in such a good mood that time had to be speqt giving hugs (he can be very affectionate), and waiting for him to get through some of his periods of laughter. Mark was able to work for thirty to forty five minutes at a time, with five minute breaks between. During one session Mark was congested and was given liquid medication. After ingesting this medication he soon became very giggly, demonstrating a significant increase in his activity level. Mark also had some difficulty sitting in the chair provided. The seating was not considered the most optimal. His legs were too long to fit under the table being used making it difficult to keep him positioned appropriately.

W J-R, Selected subtests:
(Standard Scores on the WJ-R are based on a mean score of 100).

Mark received a Standard Score (SS) of79 on the Broad Reading Cluster. The two subtests that comprise this cluster are Letter-Word (L-W) Identification (SS=82, Age Equivalent 7-6,11%) and Passage Comprehension (SS=80, Age Equivalent 7-2, 9"10). Basal limits were obtained on both of these subtests. Mark was provided with physical support (facilitation) under his arm throughout the evaluation sessions.

On the L- W Identification subtest Mark was first asked to look at each individual picture before being given any directions. Pictures not relating to the immediate response were covered up. These procedures were utilized throughout the evaluation process. Mark had no difficulty identifying rebus pictures with a pointing response. Due to his inability to communicate orally, a letter board with capital and lower case letters was used for Mark to identifY selected letters. He was able to point to all of the specified capital letters, having difficulty with the lower case letters z and h. This may be due, in part, to his familiarity with his Canon communicator which types out responses in capital letters. A multiple choice format was used to have Mark identify specific words. He was given a selection of four to five words that were written in large print on 3x5 index cards and he was asked to pick up the correct word. Due to Mark's need for significant "wait time", this first subtest took approximately 45 minutes to complete. Mark then became upset as evidenced by vocal sounds and crying. He was asked if there was something he wanted to "say" on his canon, at which time he nodded his head. His first attempt at communicating on the canon (with facilitation) was "OESV". Mark was told that this examiner did not understand and he needed to try again. On his second attempt, more pressure was used to hold Mark back and he was able to type "OVER". His need for a break was acknowledged and he was allowed to get a popsicle.

Mark returned from his break independently when the timer rang. The Passage Comprehension subtest was then begun. On the first five items ofthis subtest, Mark was shown each picture in isolation. The words that Mark was to read were rewritten in very large print. He was shown the words and asked to show me the picture. He was able to read and identify all of these itemS, although, once again, requiring a great deal of "wait time". On the next ten items, Mark was shown a picture and was to fill in a word that would complete the sentence appropriately. He was given a choice of four words. The choices provided were often taken from the examples of incorrect responses that might be provided by a student, or, were words that related directly to the picture themselves. Mark was able to complete five of these items correctly.

The Broad Math Cluster was given on another day. The subtests in this cluster are Calculation (SS=33, Age Equiv3Ient 5-9, .1%) and Applied Problems (SS=48, Age Equivalent 4-5, .1%). Mark's Standard Score on this cluster was 32. This was the day that Mark was congested and given medication. He became very silly, laughing and moving around a great deal. Basals were not obtained on these two subtests.

Mark was able to complete two items on the Calculation subtest. He was provided with cube blocks for counters and pointed out his responses on a numberline. The next subtest, Applied Problems, was then attempted. Mark demonstrated a great deal of scattering on this subtest. Once again he was shown pictures in isolation. Directions to which he was to respond to were written down in large print and in abbreviated form so that there would not be too much for him to have to process. We were able to work through the first four items at which point Mark was having such a difficult time sitting and responding (he had been working on the two subtests for 30 minutes at this point), he was given a 5 minute break. After Mark came back from his break (again cued by the timer) he was more focused and able to respond better. Whenever possible concrete objects were used to elicit responses. This included using actual canned goods, buttons, and pennies. When the canned goods were brought out for item 8 Mark became very agitated. This examiner realized that Mark must not like mushrooms, which happened to be what was contained in the cans. This was confirmed with Mark's mother at which time Mark was assured that he wouldn't have to eat the mushrooms. He responded quickly and successfully to this item and the cans were removed from his sight. Throughout this subtest Mark was more successful with items relating to the addition process than items involving the subtraction process. The evaluation session concluded after approximately 30 minutes.


Many attempts have been made to try and obtain an idea of Mark's abilities. He has demonstrated the ability to select the title of a book he would like to read from a choice of three and select the corresponding book. While the story is being read aloud, he will, with facilitation, track the words of the story and tum the pages appropriately. Mark is able to look at a picture and is able to answer some questions related to the picture. He is able to complete a variety of matching activities which include matching number words to numbers, sets to numbers, color words to colors, shape words to shapes, and clothing words to clothing. Mark is able to add single digit numbers together, identifYing the correct answer on a numberline or preprinted numbers. He recently learned how to imitate block designs after several lessons on this skill. Mark's performance in many of these areas vary depending on whether he is provided with facilitation. For example, when asked to identifY shapes, Mark was unsuccessful when not given support under his forearm. He was 100% successful when the examiner provided him with this support. This was also true when asked to match anima1 names to the picture of the animals.

Mark has improved in his ability to work for extended periods of tithe (30 -"'45 minutes), responding very appropriately to the use of a kitchen timer to remain at the work table and return to the table when cued by the bell. There are times that he understandably becomes frustrated, however, he responds nicely to verbal cues to keep his hands down and "nice hands". He tends to voice discontent through loud vocal sounds, which is also understandable due to his inability to verbalize his feelings. He is demonstrating a greater willingness to use his canon communicator, typing words such as "STOP", "OVER", "BATHROOM", "YES", "NO". There are times that the facilitator must "pull back" more when supporting Mark in his attempts at communication, possibly as a result of his frustration/agitation.

Observations made in Mark's home environment indicate a young man who is able to follow multistep directions that may require him to go from one part of his house to another. He is developing a greater sense of independence as demonstrated by his ability to take care of his personal needs independently. Mark also is structured by rules set forth by his parents.


Mark is a nonverbal 8-10 year old with a medical diagnosis of Autism. He was administered the Broad Reading and Broad Math Clusters of the Woodcock-Johnson, Tests of Achievement­ Standard Battery, Revised. Modifications were made to adapt to Mark's particular learning style and compensate for his inability to communicate responses oraUy. BasaIs were obtained on the subtests that comprise the Broad Reading Cluster. His Standard Score on the Broad Reading Cluster was 79 and his Standard Score on the Broad Math Cluster was 32. Mark is currently able to work for 30 - 45 minute time periods and responds well to the auditory cue provided by a kitchen timer. He is making some attempts at communicating via his Canon communicator, with and without facilitation. A significant difference is evident in Mark's ability to complete activites with and without facilitation, noting an increase in his success rate when he is provided with physical support under his forearm. As with aU of us, Mark has good days and bad days. Conditions that mayor may not affect other students such as establishing a rapport, seating conditions, auditory and visual distractions, and/or medication may have a more profound effect on Mark's ability to demonstrate skills. Mark also appears to require ample "wait time" He responds well to consistency and clear, predictable expectations and can be quite affectionate and playful. Although the administration of the WJ-R was an attempt to obtain an idea of some of his skills, the results should be interpreted with some amount of caution due to the language based nature of this assessment tool.