The purpose of conducting an informal assessment is to gather practical information that can be used in designing effective teaching activities.
An informal assessment should provide two important types of information:
- information about the student's skill levels in different developmental areas; and
- information about the student's work-related behaviors and learning skills.
Students with autism often show an uneven pattern of skills in different developmental areas, with relative strengths in visual perception and visual memory, and relative weaknesses in language and imitation.
Some examples of learning skills are: the ability to wait for instructions, the ability to ask for help, the need for prompts, and the understanding of work-reward routines.
Information about a student's learning skills is as important as information about specific academic strengths and weaknesses in setting educational goals and planning effective teaching activities.