Abstract

OBJECTIVE. To describe the development and psychometric properties of the Dynamic Occupational Therapy Cognitive Assessment for Children (DOTCA–Ch), a dynamic criterion-referenced assessment of cognitive abilities and learning potential for children with cognitive and learning difficulties.

METHOD. A series of studies analyzed the age standards, criterion cutoff scores, and percentage of mediation cues required for typically developing children 6–12 years of age, as well as reliability and validity.

RESULTS. MANOVA analyses determined four age groups that best fit the outcome data: 6–6.11, 7–8.11, 9–10.11, and 11–12 years. Criterion cutoff scores of 25% for at-risk and under 10% for deficient performance were obtained for each age group. Dynamic percentage scores were determined. Significant high interrater reliability and moderate to high internal consistency reliability were found. Construct validity was supported by comparing children with traumatic brain injury and learning disabilities to typically developing children, and ecological validity of children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder by comparing performance on the DOTCA–Ch to the School Function Assessment.

CONCLUSIONS. The DOTCA–Ch is a reliable and valid assessment that provides learning potential and can facilitate intervention for cognitive difficulties that manifest themselves in daily functions among school-age children.

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