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Writing Useful, Accessible, and Legally Defensible Psychoeducational Reports



Writing Useful, Accessible, and Legally Defensible Psychoeducational Reports

Michael Hass, Jeanne Anne Carriere

ISBN: 978-1-118-20565-5 April 2014 224 Pages


“This book focuses on how to write a psychological report that is first and foremost helpful to consumers, while also being technically and legally defensible. Like the reports the authors describe, the book is carefully organized, beautifully written, and accessible to practitioners as well as graduate students. It is a brilliant accomplishment that should be required reading for every school psychologist.”

—Brent Duncan, PhD, Professor of Psychology, Humboldt State University, Arcata CA


From clearly identifying reasons for referral to making recommendations based on assessment results, Writing Useful, Accessible, and Legally Defensible Psychoeducational Reports offers practical guidance for creating reports that enhance the understanding of children and their strengths and challenges in order to better meet their educational and functional needs.

The authors offer step-by-step guidelines for developing an assessment plan in a collaborative process with parents, teachers, and other professionals, choosing appropriate assessment and data collection tools, gathering relevant information, and providing clear and feasible individualized recommendations that directly respond to referral concerns in a format easily understood by parents and teachers.

Ideal for graduate students in school psychology, school psychologists, and other professionals in related fields who work with children in a school setting, Writing Useful, Accessible, and Legally Defensible Psychoeducational Reports:

  • Provides specific suggestions for increasing the usefulness and accessibility of reports including readability, positive phrasing, and vocabulary
  • Illustrates how to develop well-formed questions and how to choose assessment tools to answer referral questions
  • Reviews the legal mandates of report writing and discusses what must be included
  • Demonstrates how to accurately document and integrate data from record review, interviews, observations, and tests
  • Discusses how the use of the referral-based consultative assessment and report writing model can promote more active involvement in collaboration, prevention, and intervention
  • Features numerous real-world cases, helpful checklists, examples of question-driven referral reports, and a model interview protocol

Acknowledgments ix

Chapter 1 Why Is Another Book on Report Writing Needed? 1

Chapter 2 What Makes a Report Legally Defensible? 11

Chapter 3 How Do I Make My Reports More Useful to Consumers? 37

Chapter 4 Step-by-Step, How Do I Write Useful and Legally Defensible Reports? 65

Chapter 5 How Do I Solve Practical Problems along the Way to Question-Driven Report Writing? 101

Appendix I–Checklist for a Useful and Legally Defensible Report 113

Appendix II–What Do These Reports Look Like? 117

Appendix III–Interview protocol 169

References 173

Author Index 181

Subject Index 185