Overview and Test Objectives
Field 115: Cognitive Impairment
|Format||Computer-based test (CBT)|
|Number of Questions||100 multiple-choice questions|
|Time||2 hours 30 minutes*|
*Does not include 15-minute CBT tutorial
|Subarea||Range of Objectives||Approximate Test Weighting|
|I||Understanding Students with Cognitive Impairments||001–002||13%|
|II||Assessing Students with Cognitive Impairments and Developing Individualized Education Programs ( I E Pees ), Individualized Family Service Plans ( I F S Pees ), and Transition Plans||003–005||20%|
|III||Promoting Development and Learning in Students with Cognitive Impairments||006–012||47%|
|IV||Working in the Professional Environment||013–015||20%|
Subarea I—Understanding Students with Cognitive Impairments
Objective 001—Understand human development and learning.
- historical and philosophical foundations of special education in the field of cognitive impairments
- cognitive, linguistic, physical, and social-emotional growth and development (e.g., typical, atypical) of individuals from birth to adulthood
- implications of cognitive impairments on physical, sensory, motor, cognitive, language, communication, and social-emotional development
- implications of additional disabilities and health impairments (e.g., seizure disorders, vision/hearing, diabetes, allergies/asthma) upon development and learning in students with cognitive impairments
- uses and possible side effects of various types of medication to treat individuals with cognitive impairments and coexisting conditions (e.g., stimulant, antidepressant, antiepileptic) in relation to the individual's learning, development, and daily living
- adult life roles for students with cognitive impairments (e.g., adult living, employment, community experience, postsecondary education)
Objective 002—Understand the types and characteristics of cognitive impairments.
- key terminology and eligibility and criteria related to the types of cognitive impairments
- cognitive, behavioral, psychological, social-emotional, sensory, and motor characteristics of individuals with cognitive impairments
- concepts of intellectual functioning and adaptive behavior
- etiologies and contributing factors related to cognitive impairments
- prevention of cognitive impairments
Subarea II—Assessing Students with Cognitive Impairments and Developing Individualized Education Programs ( I E Pees ), Individualized Family Service Plans ( I F S Pees ), and Transition Plans
Objective 003—Understand various assessment instruments and assessment practices for evaluating the strengths and needs of students with cognitive impairments.
- key assessment concepts and terminology used in formal, informal, and alternative assessments for students with cognitive impairments (e.g., validity, reliability, norm- and criterion-referenced, performance assessments, systematic observations)
- types, characteristics, and procedures of formal and informal assessments (e.g., standardized measures, adaptive behavior assessments, behavior-rating scales, performance assessments, formative and summative assessments)
- uses and limitations of various types of assessment instruments and methods for all students with cognitive impairments (e.g., task analysis, data collection, progress monitoring)
- principles and procedures for creating, modifying, and adapting assessments (e.g., Universal Design for Learning [ U D L ]) to accommodate individual strengths and needs and other factors (e.g., cultural, linguistic, and environmental factors), and implications of modifications and accommodations to the validity and reliability of assessment results
Objective 004—Understand procedures for conducting assessments and for interpreting and communicating the results of assessments to address the individual strengths and needs of students with cognitive impairments.
- policies and procedures for screening, prereferral, referral, and eligibility of students with cognitive impairments and young children at risk for cognitive impairments and associated disabilities, including multi-tiered system of supports ( M T S S ), assistive technology ( A T ), and culturally and linguistically responsive strategies
- interpreting information from formal and informal assessments, including the use of multiple measures of assessments, and score types (e.g., standard score, percentile rank, age/grade equivalent) to inform eligibility and placement decisions and to determine student goals
- practices for using a balanced assessment system (e.g., preassessment, formative assessment, summative assessment) to identify students' needs, develop differentiated instructional plans, and adjust instructional plans using progress monitoring
- strategies for effectively communicating results with stakeholders (e.g., students, parents/guardians, classroom teachers, related service providers and others), including culturally responsive strategies
- procedures to ensure the use of nonbiased formal and informal assessments of students from diverse backgrounds, including culturally responsive strategies for ensuring effective communication among stakeholders involved in the assessment process (e.g., students, parents/guardians, service providers, administrators)
Objective 005—Understand procedures for developing, implementing, and amending Individualized Education Programs ( I E Pees ), Individualized Family Service Plans ( I F S Pees ), and transition plans to meet the needs of students with cognitive impairments.
- components of a comprehensive evaluation used to determine eligibility for special education and related services (e.g., referral, informed consent, initial evaluation, three-year evaluation, observations, multi-tiered system of supports [ M T S S ], eligibility, timelines)
- strategies for using assessment information to make program, placement (e.g., continuum of services, levels of support), and service delivery decisions for students with cognitive impairments, including students from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds and students with coexisting disabilities
- developing, implementing, and evaluating short- and long-term individualized learning goals
- determining appropriate accommodations and modifications to support access to the general education curriculum, including classroom, district, and statewide assessments
- procedures for developing and monitoring transition plans based on students' interests and goals to postsecondary environments, including higher educational, vocational, and employment opportunities for students with cognitive impairments
- conducting and implementing a manifestation determination review ( M D R )
Subarea III—Promoting Development and Learning in Students with Cognitive Impairments
Objective 006—Understand methods and practices for planning and managing the learning environment for students with cognitive impairments.
- methods for designing and modifying learning environments (e.g., physical arrangement of the classroom, management of support services, assistive technology [ A T ], health-related needs, accessibility) to meet the physical, cognitive, behavioral, cultural, linguistic, and communication needs of students with cognitive impairments
- classroom management strategies, including developing and managing daily routines (e.g., transition, time management, organization) to optimize students' learning and attention and to facilitate students' effective use of instructional time
- strategies for supporting students' successful inclusion and participation in a variety of academic settings that are both age appropriate and ability appropriate (e.g., classrooms, Community-Based Instruction [ C B I ], community service opportunities)
- methods for selecting, adapting, and using evidence- and research-based instructional practices, materials, and technology for promoting students' active engagement and individual academic success in one-to-one, small-group, and large-group settings and for facilitating students' independence (e.g., direct instruction, modeling, Universal Design for Learning [ U D L ])
Objective 007—Understand principles and methods of individualizing instruction for students with cognitive impairments.
- methods for selecting, adapting, and implementing evidence-based instructional methodology and materials from multiple theoretical approaches to effectively address the strengths and needs of students with cognitive impairments (e.g., multisensory instructional approaches, assistive technology [ A T ], shaping, scaffolding, pacing), including English Learners ( E Els ) and/or students with multiple disabilities
- strategies for facilitating students' maintenance and generalization of skills across learning environments
- strategies to promote successful academic transitions for students with cognitive impairments (e.g., between teachers, grade levels, schools, post-school, and service options)
- methods for integrating age-appropriate affective, social, and daily living skills within the general education curriculum
Objective 008—Understand strategies and practices for promoting the communication skills of students with cognitive impairments.
- evidence- and research-based strategies for supporting and developing students' verbal and nonverbal communication skills, including vocabulary
- evidence- and research-based strategies for promoting language acquisition for students with cognitive impairments, including students who are nonverbal
- evidence- and research-based strategies designed to develop students' language skills in the areas of oral expression (e.g., communicating wants, needs, and feelings; asking and giving directions; organizing information to promote clear communication)
- pragmatic functions of communications and language (e.g., relationships between communication, language, behavior, and social skills; active listening; appropriate verbal and nonverbal responses in conversation)
- variety of augmentative and alternative communication ( A A C ) technology as well as methods and practices used by students with cognitive impairments to improve communication
Objective 009—Understand effective instructional practices for teaching academic skills in core academic subjects.
- evidence-based instructional strategies for teaching emergent literacy skills (e.g., phonological awareness and phonemic awareness, concepts of print, sound-symbol relationships, word recognition)
- evidence-based instructional strategies for teaching reading (e.g., decoding, word recognition, fluency, vocabulary, comprehension)
- evidence-based instructional strategies for teaching writing, including idea development and spelling using assistive technology ( A T ) as appropriate
- evidence-based instructional strategies for teaching math (e.g., operations, applications, reasoning, time, money, measurement)
- evidence-based strategies for developing students' study skills (e.g., using visual aids, multisensory learning, integrated learning, concrete concept development, and assistive technology [ A T ])
- evidence-based strategies for helping students with cognitive impairments apply, maintain, and generalize academic skills across learning environments (e.g., adaptive behavior review)
Objective 010—Understand methods for teaching and supporting social-emotional competence and interpersonal skills for students with cognitive impairments.
- evidence-based strategies and practices to develop effective social and interpersonal skills for students with cognitive impairments to apply in educational and other environments (e.g., working cooperatively, establishing positive relationships with peers and adults)
- evidence-based strategies for explicitly teaching and practicing social and interpersonal skills across settings and across the curriculum (e.g., positive behavioral interventions and supports [ P B I S ])
- procedures and methods for developing students' independence and interpersonal skills (e.g., self-determination, self-awareness, self-management, self-control, self-esteem)
- methods and strategies to create meaningful and supportive opportunities to practice and reinforce interpersonal skill development within instructional activities and the daily schedule
Objective 011—Understand methods for teaching and developing students' acquisition of daily living skills.
- skills and concepts related to evaluating, selecting, and adapting instructional materials, assistive technologies ( A Tees ), and community resources to support students' development of daily living skills (e.g., vocational skills, independent and community living skills, citizenship, leisure, recreation)
- strategies and methods to teach and practice positive hygiene, health awareness, nutrition, fitness habits, travel and mobility, safety, and routines
- strategies for increasing students' understanding of the responsibilities associated with relationships, human sexuality, family life, and parenting
- strategies for providing work experience and career and vocational planning services to students with cognitive impairments
- strategies for developing appropriate goals, objectives, activities, programs, and supports to facilitate students' successful transition into employment, postsecondary education, training, and/or other adult services or activities
Objective 012—Understand evidence- and research-based strategies for managing student behavior and developing and implementing effective behavioral interventions and supports for students with cognitive impairments.
- behavior management techniques (e.g., positive behavior supports, prompting, cuing, explicit teaching, role modeling and role-playing) to use with students with cognitive impairments to establish and maintain appropriate behavior in the learning environment
- types, characteristics, strengths, and limitations of various behavioral interventions and supports (e.g., P B I S , tier-two supports, tier-three supports)
- components of functional behavioral assessments ( F B Aees ) and behavioral intervention plans ( B I Pees ) (e.g., identifying target behaviors, collecting data, developing and monitoring interventions)
- strategies for developing, implementing, and modifying positive behavior supports (e.g., positive behavioral interventions and supports [ P B I Esses ], incentives, observational tools, antecedents, consequences) and behavioral intervention plans ( B I Pees ), including strategies for crisis prevention and intervention to meet the needs of students with cognitive impairments
- strategies for coordinating behavioral interventions among stakeholders (e.g., students' parents/guardians, general education teachers, and service providers) involved in the implementation of Individualized Education Programs ( I E Pees ), including culturally nonbiased strategies
- ways to recognize when behavioral intervention plans (BIPs) are not working and how to amend such plans (e.g., systematic observation, evidence-based data collection, reinforcement strategies, adherence to timelines)
Subarea IV—Working in the Professional Environment
Objective 013—Understand strategies for communicating and collaborating with students with cognitive impairments and their families to promote desired learning outcomes.
- concerns of parents/guardians and families of students with cognitive impairments and effective strategies for addressing such concerns
- knowledge of available resources (e.g., educational programs, behavior management guides, outside agencies, support groups, recreational and athletic opportunities) to facilitate positive engagement and communication between students with cognitive impairments and their parents/guardians
- strategies for planning and conducting collaborative meetings with students with cognitive impairments and their parents/guardians (e.g., keeping communication logs)
- ways to support students with cognitive impairments and their parents/guardians to become active participants on the educational team (e.g., during the evaluation and assessment process, the development and implementation of individualized programs, and the monitoring of instructional practices)
- culturally responsive strategies for ensuring effective communication and collaboration with students with cognitive impairments and their parents/guardians and service providers in educational, public, and private agencies
- augmentative and alternative communication ( A A C ) methods that can be used effectively for communicating with students with cognitive impairments
Objective 014—Understand how to collaborate and effectively establish partnerships with other school personnel and community organizations to facilitate learning opportunities for students with cognitive impairments.
- roles and responsibilities of various school personnel (e.g., general education teachers, vocational teachers, speech and language pathologists, occupational therapists, physical therapists, social workers, psychologists, counselors) in providing a comprehensive educational program for students with cognitive impairments
- effective strategies for consultation and collaboration (e.g., co-planning, co-teaching, consulting) with other teachers and school staff to provide instruction for students with cognitive impairments (e.g., methodology, assistive technology [ A T ], accommodations, modifications) to support student learning
- strategies and procedures for supervising, coaching, and working with paraprofessionals and volunteers while maintaining confidential student information
- strategies for integrating and managing related services (e.g., speech/language, occupational and physical therapy, community agency services), including coordinating materials and equipment for students into students' school/classroom environment and daily routines
- strategies for collaborating with team members to plan transitions for students with cognitive impairments that encourage and support their full participation in the community
Objective 015—Understand the professional, ethical, and legal roles and responsibilities involved in the education of students with cognitive impairments.
- effective strategies for engaging in reflection and self-assessment activities for the purposes of improving instruction and planning for professional growth
- planning, organizing, scheduling, and conducting Individualized Education Program ( I E P ) team meetings, including parental and student participation
- rights and responsibilities of stakeholders (e.g., students, parents/guardians, teachers, other professionals, schools, advocates, agency members) related to the education of students with cognitive impairments
- knowledge of the Michigan Professional Educator's Code of Ethics and of the Council for Exceptional Children ( C E C ) Code of Ethics
- regulations, rules, and guidelines relevant to the education of students with cognitive impairments (e.g., procedural safeguards, due process rights of parents/guardians and students, maintaining confidentiality of information, free appropriate public education [ F A P E ], least restrictive environment [ L R E ], Michigan Administrative Rules for Special Education [ M A R S E ])
- knowledge of the importance of upholding high standards of competence, good judgment, and integrity when conducting instructional and other professional activities, including complying with all applicable laws, policies, and procedures (e.g., related to evaluation requirements, mandated reporting, behavior management, manifestation determination review [ M D R ], seclusion, restraint)
- maintaining, releasing, and transferring student records according to district, state, and federal rules and policies