Study Guide

Field 131: Severe-Profound/Multiple Disabilities 
Sample Selected-Response Questions

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General Test Directions

This test consists of two sections: 1) a section with selected-response questions and 2) a constructed-response section.

Each question in the first section is a selected-response question with four answer choices. Read each question and answer choice carefully and choose the  start uppercase ONE end uppercase  best answer.

Try to answer all questions. Even if you are unsure of an answer, it is better to guess than not to answer a question at all. You will  start uppercase NOT end uppercase  be penalized for guessing.

The second section of this test consists of one constructed-response assignment. You will be asked to provide a written response to the assignment. Directions for completing your written response to the constructed-response assignment appear immediately before the assignment.

You may  start uppercase NOT end uppercase  use any type of calculator or reference materials during the test session.

Sample Selected-Response Questions

Competency 0002 
Apply knowledge of physical/medical conditions commonly associated with severe-profound/multiple disabilities and the management of these conditions.

1. A special education teacher will be working with a student who has athetosis. A student with this condition would most likely have difficulty:

  1. smiling, frowning, or coordinating facial muscles.
  2. with fine-motor skills such as holding a pencil.
  3. walking without assistance.
  4. maintaining a seated position without supports.

Correct Response: B. Athetosis involves involuntary, slow, writhing movements and is a characteristic of athetoid cerebral palsy. Athetosis may be both hypertonic (unusually high muscle tone resulting in stiffness in the muscles) and hypotonic (unusually low muscle tone, causing very weak muscles). The individual with athetosis will have difficulty controlling movement in the hands, arms, feet, and legs, as well as maintaining consistent posture. Fine motor skills involve using small muscles, which can be very difficult for individuals with athetosis. A variety of assistive devices have shown to be effective in supporting students' access to independent daily living skills, communication, and school activities.

Competency 0003 
Apply knowledge of assessment instruments and procedures for evaluating the strengths and needs of students with severe-profound/multiple disabilities.

2. Omar is a third-grade student with autism spectrum disorder ( A S D ) who has an Individualized Education Program ( I E P ) goal related to participating in morning routines. These routines include entering the school, greeting familiar people, and hanging his coat in his cubby. After conducting a task analysis of these skills, the  I E P  team determines that teaching will occur during morning arrival and ongoing assessment will be conducted during morning arrival on a weekly basis. The team could most appropriately use this weekly assessment to determine:

  1. which subsets of the skill Omar has attained and which require repeated explicit instruction.
  2. when Omar is ready to generalize an expanded version of this morning routine at home.
  3. the visual supports and modifications that will support Omar in learning these skills.
  4. how to modify the goal so that Omar can complete each task successfully with minimal support.

Correct Response: A. In this scenario, Omar would benefit from explicit instruction in the morning routine procedures. By completing a task analysis, the special education teacher has outlined specific skills and the sequence in which the skills should be performed. This allows the special education teacher to determine an effective instructional plan and procedures for assessing Omar's skill acquisition. A weekly assessment will provide the special education teacher with enough information to make strategic instructional decisions regarding the pace of instruction, degree of modeling and reinforcement that is effective, and Omar's overall progress towards mastery.

Competency 0005 
Apply knowledge of practices for establishing positive and productive learning environments for students with severe-profound/multiple disabilities.

3. Jaime, a seventh grader with severe emotional needs, has trouble expressing his ideas during discussions in his social studies class. Ms. Howard, Jaime's special education teacher, observes Jaime's verbal interactions with others in a variety of situations around the school. These observations would be most useful in helping Ms. Howard answer which of the following questions?

  1. Are Jaime's communication difficulties in class a result of a problem with the teacher's interpretation of his ideas or Jaime's ability to express them?
  2. What conditions appear to enhance Jaime's ability to communicate successfully with others?
  3. What does Jaime's communicative competence outside of class suggest about his ability to communicate effectively when he is motivated to do so?
  4. How likely is it that Jaime's communication problems in class result primarily from his feelings about that particular class or teacher?

Correct Response: B. An ecological assessment can be very useful in identifying a student's strengths and needs. In this scenario, the special education teacher is aware that Jaime has difficulty expressing his ideas in the classroom. There are any number of factors that may support or inhibit communicative competence, especially for a student with severe emotional needs. In order to determine strategies and instruction to address this need, the special education teacher should first consider any environment where Jamie is communicating successfully. Next, the teacher should determine the conditions that exist in those environments that enhance, support, or reinforce successful communication. Identifying and replicating those conditions in other environments may be the most effective way to address Jaime's language needs.

Competency 0006 
Apply knowledge of evidence- and research-based strategies and instructional practices for promoting the cognitive development and academic achievement of students with severe-profound/multiple disabilities.

4. A special education teacher in an elementary school often uses a constant time delay technique when teaching functional sight words to students with severe disabilities. This technique would be especially effective in fostering a student's ability to:

  1. respond accurately to a print cue without being prompted by a teacher.
  2. generalize a nonphonetic spelling to other words that follow the same pattern.
  3. comprehend a word's meaning in the context of a narrative text.
  4. incorporate a word into his or her written and oral expressive vocabulary.

Correct Response: A. Constant time delay technique is a stimulus control procedure that has been shown to be effective in behavior change interventions, as well as in teaching discrete skills to students with mild-to-severe disabilities. In this scenario, the skill requires memorization of functional sight words. The special education teacher must present the stimulus (word card) and, within a constant interval of time, present a prompt stimulus ("What's this word?"). The teacher provides limited positive reinforcement if the word is read correctly; if incorrect, the teacher moves on to the next word, employing the same interval of time between the stimulus and prompt.

Competency 0007 
Apply knowledge of evidence- and research-based strategies and materials for promoting the communication and language development of students with severe-profound/multiple disabilities.

5. Which of the following steps should be taken  start italics first end italics  in developing a communication system for Pam, a nonverbal seven-year-old with severe intellectual disabilities and multiple physical disabilities?

  1. demonstrating several different communication systems for Pam and allowing her to select the one she prefers
  2. administering a standardized achievement test to determine Pam's reading and vocabulary skill levels
  3. presenting Pam with a series of tasks designed to evaluate her visual-motor coordination skills
  4. interviewing Pam's parents and determining which type of communication system they would prefer to use in the home

Correct Response: C. Communication is a challenge for students with complex needs. A variety of communication systems, from low tech to high tech, are available. The special education teacher recognizes that for a communication system to be successful, the student must have the opportunity for access and ease of use. In this scenario, the special education teacher should begin by observing and determining the student's primary mode of access to communication, specifically visually and/or motorically. This information will be important for the team to consider in addressing all communication system options.

Competency 0009 
Apply knowledge of evidence- and research-based strategies for developing social/interpersonal skills and providing effective positive behavior interventions for students with severe-profound/multiple disabilities.

6. A student in a special education classroom is assessed by a school psychologist who administers a projective test. The results of this test reflect a student with impulsive and oppositional tendencies. On the basis of this assessment, which of the following would be the appropriate  start italics next end italics  step for the special education teacher to take?

  1. recommending that the student is placed in a secure classroom setting
  2. requesting a reevaluation of the student using another projective test to ensure the accuracy of the findings
  3. developing Individualized Education Program ( I E P ) goals to teach coping strategies
  4. gathering more information on the student to develop a functional behavior assessment ( F B A ) and a behavior intervention plan ( B I P )

Correct Response: D. A projective assessment may be administered (by a psychologist) to students with severe emotional or behavioral needs to evaluate an individual's personality. The results of this information, along with other formal and informal behavior assessments, may help identify the function of the student's behaviors. Using this information as one part of the data-gathering component of an F B A may guide or support the team's determination of the reason(s) for a student's behavior, allowing an effective behavior intervention plan to be developed.

Competency 0010 
Apply knowledge of evidence- and research-based strategies for teaching functional living skills and promoting successful transitions for students with severe-profound/multiple disabilities.

7. A first-grade special education teacher notices that several students with severe disabilities are having difficulty transitioning from recess into the classroom. The teacher expects the students to come into the classroom quietly, find their seats, and begin working at a specified activity. Several of the students continue to walk around the classroom and talk with others when work has begun. Which of the following strategies should the teacher try first to address this situation?

  1. giving students a choice of independent activities instead of assigning them one specified activity
  2. providing specific verbal positive reinforcement recognizing peers who are following transition procedures
  3. arranging for a paraprofessional to provide support to students who need it upon entry to the classroom
  4. reducing the number of transitions for students who are having the greatest difficulty

Correct Response: B. In this scenario, the special education teacher should start underline first end underline provide specific positive verbal reinforcement to students who are demonstrating the appropriate transition behaviors. Positive reinforcement that is focused and specific can be a very effective strategy to redirect behavior. The special education teacher might say, "I see Justin, Shayla, Tyrone, Alison, and Nico working on the math problems and ready to start today's lesson. Let's see who else is ready." This strategy avoids reinforcing the students who are not on task with teacher attention and, most likely, student attention.

Competency 0011 
Demonstrate knowledge of effective collaboration and communication processes for establishing partnerships with members of the school and community to enhance learning opportunities for students with severe- profound/multiple disabilities.

8. A student with multiple disabilities requires the assistance of a paraprofessional during the entire school day. Because of scheduling conflicts, two paraprofessionals are hired to assist the student, one working in the morning and one in the afternoon. In this situation, which of the following procedures would be most effective for ensuring that both paraprofessionals are able to stay well-informed about important information regarding the student?

  1. planning time each week for each paraprofessional to meet with the student's teachers to receive updates about the student
  2. conducting monthly Individualized Education Program ( I E P ) review meetings about the student with both paraprofessionals present
  3. scheduling time each day for both paraprofessionals to read and contribute to a log on the student's experiences and accomplishments
  4. asking the paraprofessionals to occasionally switch work shifts to experience all elements of the student's day

Correct Response: C. Scheduling and time constraints can create obstacles in designing services for students with disabilities. Often, flexibility and collaborative skills are required to ensure the I E P provisions are appropriately met. In this scenario, consistency and communication between the paraprofessionals and the special education teacher would be most effective in meeting this student's needs. Creating a log for the paraprofessionals to document relevant information, record observations/successes and concerns, ask questions, and document goal progress provides effective and efficient communication and focuses on meeting the student's needs.

Competency 0012 
Demonstrate knowledge of strategies and practices to promote and maintain effective school–home collaborations and support families' involvement in their child's education.

9. Two-year-old Dominic has been diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder ( A S D ), communication and motor delays. Before the first meeting of his Individualized Family Service Plan ( I F S P ) team, Dominic's guardians consult with the special education teacher about how to prepare for the meeting. The teacher could best help Dominic's guardians become active participants on the team by making which of the following recommendations?

  1. "Request copies of Dominic's evaluation results and familiarize yourselves with methods that were used in the evaluation."
  2. "Decide on what services you think Dominic should receive and be prepared to provide reasons for your opinions."
  3. "Learn as much as you can about the causes and characteristics of Dominic's disabilities, so that you can provide your opinions about the best techniques to use with him."
  4. "Write down questions, concerns, and suggestions you have about Dominic's strengths and needs based on your interactions with him."

Correct Response: D. The Individualized Family Service Plan (I F S P) is developed to address the needs of children from birth through age two who are eligible for early intervention services. A fundamental principle of the I F S P is that the family is the child's most important resource and the child's strengths and needs are closely tied to those of the family. Input from parents/guardians is a required component of the I F S P document, along with assessment data, observations, and health/medical information for the child, in order to effectively guide the determination of services to support both the child and the family.

Competency 0013 
Apply knowledge of the history and philosophy of special education and key issues and trends, roles and responsibilities, and legal and ethical issues in special education.

10. According to the Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement Act ( I D E A ), public school districts must ensure that assistive technology devices and/or services are provided based on which of the following guidelines?

  1. The devices and/or services ensure that the student makes adequate yearly progress ( A Y P ).
  2. A formal trial period demonstrates that the devices and/or services are indeed helpful to the student.
  3. The devices and/or services provide a student access to a free appropriate public education ( F A P E ).
  4. The student's parents/guardians make a formal written request for use of the devices and/or services.

Correct Response: C. The Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement Act (I D E A, 2004) defines start italics assistive technology devices end italics as follows (Sec. 300.5): "Assistive technology device means any item, piece of equipment, or product system, whether acquired commercially off the shelf, modified, or customized, that is used to increase, maintain, or improve the functional capabilities of a child with a disability. The term does not include a medical device that is surgically implanted, or the replacement of such device." Furthermore, it outlines the requirement (Sec.300.105) that devices and/or services provide access to a free appropriate public education (F A P E) for students with disabilities.