Report Writing for Students with Significant Disabilities

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As a newly qualified therapist here in the UK, I would love it if you could give some guidance on writing an excellent report for kids on the ASD spectrum and Down Syndrome kids too, especially in reference to recommendations to teachers and parents.

Follow School or Workplace Guidelines:

  • All schools and workplaces will have different ideas of what should be included in reports
  • Ask for examples of previously written reports that meet or exceed your workplace standards

Summarizing Evaluation Data or Stating Present Level

  • This type of report explains how the child is currently functioning.  It describes what the child can and cannot do.
  • Break the report into sections based on the types of communication tasks that you’re looking at.  Write one general statement that says the student struggles in that area.
  • For each area, give specific examples from testing or data collection that state exactly where the child is on that skill.
  • Talk about why each area/skill deficit matters.  How does it impact the child’s ability to communicate and learn?


Student struggles with answering a variety of questions during classroom activities.  Student is able to consistently answer basic yes/no questions about his wants and needs but is only able to answer “what” questions with 40-50% accuracy and “where” questions with 20-30% accuracy.  Student is not yet providing appropriate answers to other types of “wh-” questions.  This limited ability to answer a variety of questions during classroom activities inhibits Student’s ability to participate in classroom discussions and makes it difficult for his teachers to assess his knowledge and skill acquisition.

(Write a short paragraph like this for every relevant skill area that the child is struggling with)

What if the Child is Struggling with Too Many Things?

  • Write a paragraph like above for each of the skills you want to target during therapy.  Then, write a statement explaining other areas that the child struggles with, but explain that you are prioritizing other skills above these.


Student also struggles with age-appropriate reading skills, use of grammatical markers, and age-appropriate conversational skills.  However, Student is not ready to work on these skills at this time and will need to develop a basic mastery of the skills listed in previous paragraphs before work can be done on these more advanced skills.  Therefore, this report/treatment plan will not address these skills at this time.

Treatment Plan:

  • Include what you will target with specific goals.


  • Some places will only want you to include how much of what type of therapy you’re doing.  Other places will want info about what parents and teachers can do to support.  If that’s the case, include simple accommodations and modifications that will make it easier for the child to succeed in that setting.
  • Examples of accommodations/modifications: introduction and use of visuals, use of schedules, preferential seating, teacher reliance on yes/no questions, keeping utterances short, gaining student’s attention before speaking, repeating directions often, 1:1 assistance