by Eric Schopler, Margaret D.Lansing, Robert j.Reichler and Lee M.Marcus
The PEP–3 is a revision of the popular instrument that has been used for more than 20 years to assess the skills and behaviours of children with autism and communicative difficulties who function between the ages of 6 months to 7 years. The profile resulting from the PEP–3 graphically charts uneven and idiosyncratic development, emerging skills, and autistic behavioural characteristics. This test meets the need for an assessment tool to assist in the educational programming for young children (ages 3 through 5) with difficulties and is particularly useful in planning for older students' Individual Education Plans (IEPs).
The PEP–3 now includes a Caregiver Report. This report utilises parent input and is completed prior to the administration of the assessment. The form asks the parent or caregiver to estimate the child's developmental level compared with typical children. This form has been shown to help orient teachers to a student's developmental inconsistencies. The PEP–3 has included additional data that identify special learning strengths and teachable skills. Also, the third edition is improved by offering normative data both from a group of children in the autism spectrum as well as from a comparison group of children without autism. It is the only test to date that provides data for within-group comparison to children in the autism spectrum.
Improvements to the PEP–3:
- The function domains have been revised to reflect current research and clinical concerns, especially in the area of social and communication functions.
- All of the toys and materials needed to administer the test (except food, drink, and a light switch) are now included with the test.
- New items and subtests have been added; obsolete ones were deleted.
- Normative data were collected from 2002 to 2003, with large national samples of children in the autism spectrum and of typical children ranging from 2 to 71/2 years of age. These are the first normative data provided for comparison of a child's PEP results with children of either comparison group.
- Reliability coefficients have been computed by age for subgroups within the normative sample (i.e., males, females, white, black, and Hispanic Americans.)
- Validity evidence is provided for children in the autism spectrum for all areas measured by the test.
- The scoring has been quantified as 0, 1, and 2; and each score is clearly defined, making statistical comparisons more accurate. At the same time, the flexibility of the previous system, using pass, emerge, and fail, has been maintained.
- A Caregiver Report has been added which includes Current Developmental Levels, Diagnostic Categories and Degree of Problem, and three subtests: Problem Behaviours; Personal Self-Care, and Adaptive Behaviour. The Caregiver Report provides teachers and other professionals with information needed for a more thorough and complete planning for each child.
COMPLETE PEP-3 KIT INCLUDES: Manual, Guide to Item Administration, Picture Book, 10 Examiner Scoring/Summary Booklets, 10 Response Booklets, 10 Caregiver Report Forms, and an Object Kit, all in a sturdy storage box.