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Transdisciplinary Play-Based Assessment, Second Edition (TPBA2)

Transdisciplinary Play-Based Assessment, Second Edition (TPBA2)

Author: Toni W. Linder Ed.D.   With Authors: Tanni L. Anthony Ph.D., Anita C. Bundy Sc.D., OTR, Renee Charlifue-Smith, Jan Christian Hafer, Forrest Hancock Ph.D., Cheryl Cole Rooke

ISBN: 978-1-55766-871-4
Pages: 464
Copyright: 2008
Available Stock
Spiral-bound $54.95 Qty:

Size:  8.5 x 11.0
Stock Number:  68714
Format:  Spiral-bound
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SAVE when you order the complete TBPA/I2 3-volume set, with and without the forms CD.

Transdisciplinary Play-Based Assessment, Second Edition (TPBA2) is a comprehensive, easy-to-follow process for assessing four critical developmental domains—sensorimotor, emotional and social, communication, and cognitive—through observation of the child's play with family members, peers, and professionals. In this volume, early childhood professionals will get

  • step-by-step instructions on how to prepare for a successful assessment
  • practical guidelines on how to conduct every part of the observation and gather qualitative information about the child's skills
  • the clearest research-based explanations of birth-to-six child development
  • detailed age tables (expanded and updated for this edition) that show what typical development looks like month by month and enable identification of child skill levels for quantitative data documentation
  • vivid examples that illustrate key behaviors and challenges in assessment
  • new tools and process guidelines for obtaining information from parents

The thoroughly updated second edition of TPBA2 features

  • Strong foundation in DEC and NAEYC guidelines
  • OSEP child outcomes crosswalk
  • Expanded content on critical topics such as literacy, vision, hearing, and daily living skills
  • Explicit links between assessment and intervention

With TPBA2, professionals will find it even easier to conduct accurate observations, address child and family needs, and use assessment information to inform intervention.

Learn more about the TPBA and TPBI system, and discover Toni Linder's play-based curriculum, Read, Play, and Learn!®.

Watch a recorded webcast on the TPBA/I system

See how this product helps strengthen Head Start program quality and school readiness.

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Review: The 18th Mental Measurement Yearbook
"Few other assessment and intervention programs can offer as extensive and converging perspectives as does the TPBA2 and TPBI2. The TPBA2 is strongly recommended for early childhood intervention assessments."
Review: Focus on Autism and Other Developmental Disabilities
"The ability to collaborate with other professionals, facilitate the involvement and empowerment of families in assessment and intervention, and provide services in natural settings are skills that are keys to success in practice . . . the transdisciplinary system described in the TPBA2 and TPBI2 is one that readily promotes these skills."
Review by: Katie Todd, Coordinator of Special Education/School Psychologist, Thermalito Union School District, Oroville, CA
"What a phenomenal resource!"
Review: ADVANCE for Physical Therapists & PT Assistants
"Emphasizes observing the child through the lenses of many domains to determine appropriate excellent resource for physical therapy professionals who routinely perform early-intervention assessments as part of an interdisciplinary team, as well as for faculty and researchers."
Review by: Carrie Thompson-Davenport, Center for Outreach Services, Early Childhood Outreach Consultant, Ohio School for the Deaf
"We are using TPBA to develop our transdisciplinary play-based assessment strategies to be used with young deaf and hard of hearing children. TPBA has proven to be helpful in this initial development stage."
Review by: Anne-Marie De Kort-Young, Program Consultant, North Carolina Office of School Readiness. Adjunct Faculty, University of North Carolina at Charlotte
"Makes the evaluation process a very positive experience for children and families . . . provides the team with an incredible amount of nuanced information for developing integrated, functional goals for intervention."
Review by: Linda D. Ingleson, Early Childhood Special Education Specialist, VDOE Training and Technical Assistance Center, Old Dominion University
"TPBA is an ideal tool for assessment teams."
Review by: Manuela Sanches Ferreira, Psychology, Full Professor, Superior School of Education of Porto; Coordinator, Unit for Promoting Inclusive School
"Using TPBA assessment procedures and strategies has proven to be a useful framework for our professionals to grow into a truly transdisciplinary team."
Review by: Margie Larsen, Preschool Consultant, Educational Diagnostician
"Embedded in child development theory and research, TPBA/I 2 have revolutionized assessment methodologies for preschool age children . . . consistently yields comprehensive, rich data as evidence to develop intervention teaching strategies that address the development of the whole child."
Review by: Shannon Haley-Mize, early interventionist, Institute for Disability Studies, University of Southern Mississippi
"Allows the family to be actively involved in the assessment, calls attention to play behaviors and engagement, and provides rich information that proved useful to intervention planning. TPBA/I are pivotal to providing quality services within the child's natural environment and integrating the child's goals into daily activities and routines."
Review by: Stella Fair
"Outstanding works which have been important in the field of early intervention . . . excellent way of illustrating clinical observation from a team perspective."
About the Authors
  1. A Review of the Transdisciplinary Play-Based System

  2. Sensorimotor Development Domain
    with Anita C. Bundy

    I. Functions Underlying Movement
    II. Gross Motor Activity
    III. Arm and Hand Use
    IV. Motor Planning and Coordination
    V. Modulation of Sensation and Its Relationship to Emotion, Activity Level, and Attention
    VI. Sensorimotor Contributions to Daily Life and Self-Care

    TPBA2 Observation Guidelines: Sensorimotor Development
    TPBA2 Observation Notes: Sensorimotor Development
    TPBA2 Age Table: Sensorimotor Development
    TPBA2 Observation Summary Form: Sensorimotor Development

  3. Vision Development
    Tanni L. Anthony

    Visual Ability

    TPBA2 Observation Guidelines: Vision Development
    Visual Development Indicators

  4. Emotional and Social Development Domain

    I. Emotional Expression
    II.Emotional Style/Adaptability
    III. Regulation of Emotions and Arousal States
    IV. Behavioral Regulation
    V. Sense of Self
    VI. Emotional Themes in Play
    VII. Social Interactions

    TPBA2 Observation Guidelines: Emotional and Social Development
    TPBA2 Observation Notes: Emotional and Social Development
    TPBA2 Age Table: Emotional and Social Development
    TPBA2 Observation Summary Form: Emotional and Social Development

  5. Communication Development Domain
    with Renee Charlifue-Smith and Cheryl Cole Rooke

    I. Language Comprehension
    II. Language Production
    III. Pragmatics
    IV. Articulation and Phonology
    V. Voice and Fluency
    VI. Oral Mechanism

    TPBA2 Observation Guidelines: Communication Development
    TPBA2 Observation Notes: Communication Development
    TPBA2 Age Table: Communication Development
    TPBA2 Observation Summary Form: Communication Development

  6. Hearing Screening and Visual Modification of TPBA for Children Who Are Deaf or Hard of Hearing
    with Jan Christian Hafer, Renee Charlifue-Smith, and Cheryl Cole Rooke

    I. Hearing
    II. Visual Communication Skills

    TPBA2 Observation Guidelines: Auditory Skills

  7. Cognitive Development Domain

    I. Attention
    II. Memory
    III. Problem Solving
    IV. Social Cognition
    V. Complexity of Play
    VI. Conceptual Knowledge

    TPBA2 Observation Guidelines: Cognitive Development
    TPBA2 Observation Notes: Cognitive Development
    TPBA2 Age Table: Cognitive Development
    TPBA2 Age Table: Conceptual Development
    TPBA2 Observation Summary Form: Cognitive Development

  8. Emerging Literacy
    with Forrest Hancock


Excerpted from Chapters 1 and 3 of Transdisciplinary Play-Based Assessment, Second Edition by Toni Linder, Ed.D. with invited contributors.

Copyright © 2008 by Paul H. Brookes Publishing Co. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.

The first edition of Transdisciplinary Play-Based Assessment (1990) presented a comparison of assessment by a multidisciplinary team using traditional approaches and transdisciplinary Play-Based assessment (TPBA) using a team conducting a play assessment together. Over the years, many people have commented on how the vignette presented in the beginning of the book opened their eyes to what their assessments might be like for the children they assessed. The vignette is presented again in this revised edition to illustrate how different the assessment process can be for children and families. Chapter 1 in the Administration Guide discusses why theory, research, and legislation are now dictating that assessment of young children should be natural, functional, and responsive to child and family needs.


Imagine yourself as a 3-year-old child who has been referred to a developmental center for assessment because of suspected developmental delays. Both your mother and father have come with you to a place called "the Center."

When you walk in the door, a woman meets you and takes you to her office. You sit on your mom's lap while the woman behind the desk asks your mom and dad questions about your birth and your first 3 years of life. Your mom and dad sound worried and your mom even cries when she talks about you. You feel sad and think that something about you must be making her cry.

After a while, another woman comes to take you to "play some games." Your mom and dad tell you to go with the "nice lady" and it will be fun. The nice lady takes your hand. You walk down the hall with her to a small room with a table and two wooden chairs and some pictures on the wall. You don't see any games anywhere. Then the lady pulls out a suitcase and starts to put things like blocks and puzzles in front of you. She then asks you to do certain things with them. At first this is fun, but after a while the lady asks you to do some things that are not so much fun. It's hard. You tell her this, but she just keeps putting things that are not fun in front of you. She also asks you questions that you can't answer. You want to go back to your mommy and daddy, but the lady keeps saying that you'll be finished soon. "Soon" is a long time. Finally, the lady says that you're all done playing games. You feel relieved! This lady doesn't know much about how to have fun!

After a necessary potty break and a few tears, the lady lets you see your mommy and daddy. But not for long. Here comes another lady to take you to another little room with another table and chairs and different pictures on the wall. This lady doesn't talk much. She just keeps putting pictures in front of you and asking you what they are. Many of the pictures are things that you have seen, but you just don't know what to call them. So you look down at the floor and up at the pictures on the wall. You pull on your shirt and wiggle a lot. You wish this lady would quit with the pictures. You've seen more than enough pictures. Then the lady gets out another suitcase, only it's a different color. She pulls out a couple of toys at a time and tells you what she wants you to do with them. Some of these are neat toys, and you'd really like to play with them. Every time you start to do something other than what the lady told you to do, however, she takes the toys away. This lady sure is stingy. You are getting tired, so you put your head down on the table. The lady makes you sit up. Finally, she is through. She takes you back to your mommy and daddy and tells them that you were "somewhat resistant."

Mom and Dad look worried, so when they ask, you tell them you had fun playing games with the ladies. That was a mistake. In the car they tell you that you are coming back tomorrow for some more games! When you tell them you don't want to go back, you didn't like the ladies, they say tomorrow you will play with another nice lady.

Wrong. The next day a man comes out to meet you. He says you are going to play some more fun games. You are not convinced. This time you go to a big room with many stairs and boards that wobble and boards that don't wobble and hanging nets and balls and all kinds of neat stuff. You think that maybe this will be fun! You run and jump and climb the stairs and are generally having a great time. Then the man puts you up on a big ball and tries to make you fall off. At least that is how it feels, though the man keeps saying he won't let you fall. You don't trust him. You want your mommy and daddy, so you cry. Then the man makes your arms and legs go different directions and bounces you around some. This doesn't seem fun anymore. The man is nice enough. He just doesn't know when to stop! You cry louder, and finally the man says, "We've had enough for today." He's right about that.

You go back to your mommy and daddy who are still sitting with that worried look on their faces. They tell you that they will take you to get a hamburger for being so good. You don't tell them that you weren't really that good. They don't need to know everything.


You are still the same 3-year-old child who has been referred for evaluation due to suspected developmental delays. As you enter the Center, you are greeted by the same woman who came out to your house to talk to your mommy and play with you. This time, however, she takes you to a large room containing many different toys. A playhouse is in one corner, an area with blocks and cars is in another, a table with puzzles and little toys is in another, and a water table with toys is in another. Wow! All your favorite things!

Hey! This place is neat! Mommy is holding your hand, but you let go and run to the dollhouse area. It has a sink, refrigerator, and stove just like at home, only smaller. And it has dolls and beds and dishes and telephones. You look in the refrigerator. There's a birthday cake with candles! Suddenly you notice another lady next to you. She says, "Oh, you found the birthday cake!" She doesn't even seem to mind when you take the cake out of the refrigerator and pull out all of the candles. "Maybe we should invite some babies to a party," she says. "Yeah!" You pick up a doll and give her a piece of cake. The lady does the same thing with her baby. She says her baby is hungry. You say your baby is hungry. too. Well, actually, you say "ungy," but she seems to understand. She pours more "milk" in your baby's cup. You and the lady play together in the house. Sometimes she does what you do, and sometimes you look at her and do what she does. You think she is a nice lady.

All of a sudden you remember your mommy and daddy. You look around and see them sitting there watching you. They are talking to the other lady. A man is also watching you and he has a video camera. You say "hi" to Mommy and Daddy. The lady hands you a telephone and tells you Mommy and Daddy are on the phone. You talk to Mommy and Daddy, who say, "Hi, are you having fun playing?" Then you talk to the lady who is playing with you. The two of you have lots of fun dressing the dolls for bed, brushing their teeth, combing their hair, and putting them to bed. Every once in a while you check to see if Mommy and Daddy are still there. They are


A little boy comes into the playhouse. You don't know who invited him, but he wants to play with the toys, too. The play lady says he wants to play with you. As long as he doesn't take your doll, it's okay with you. He plays with the dishes and cooks. He pours juice and gives you some. You take it but go back to putting your doll to bed. The play lady gives the boy some dishes and he puts them on the table. He says that dinner is ready, so you go to the table with your baby. You feed your baby. The boy talks to you, but you don't answer. You just don't feel like talking to him. After a while he wanders off to play somewhere else. That's okay with you.

Then the play lady goes over to the water table with her doll and starts to wash her doll. That looks like fun, so you go, too. You wash the doll for a while, and then you play with the water wheel, boats, funnels, and other fun stuff. When you get tired of this, you go over to see what's in the block area. This is fun, too. You and the play lady build bridges, drive cars over a road, put gas in your cars, have a car crash, and get the cars fixed. This place sure has nice toys.

Your mommy and daddy tell you they are leaving to get a cup of coffee and they'll be right back. You watch them go and are a little worried, but you don't mind staying here with the play lady. After a few minutes Mommy and Daddy come back, and Daddy comes over to play with you. You show him the cars, and you both drive them and crash them off bridges and laugh. Then Mommy comes over to show you some things at the table. The two of you put puzzles together. Some of them are hard and Mommy helps you. Mommy is a good helper. Then you and Mommy draw pictures, count the lines you drew and read a book. It's fun to have Mommy and Daddy playing too.

When you're all done with your pictures and puzzles, the play lady takes all of you to another room with stairs, boards that wobble, boards that don't wobble, hanging nets, balls, and tricycles. You run and jump and climb up and down the stairs. The play lady throws the ball to you and your daddy and mommy. You get the play lady to follow you up and over and through things. This play lady sure is a good sport! When she looks all worn out, you give her a rest. You try to ride the tricycle, but it's too hard. The play lady and your daddy toss you around in the air. You play with a big ball, and you and Daddy take turns bouncing and rolling on it.

After everyone is all worn out, including you, all of you go back to the playroom. There is a snack of crackers and juice in the middle of the table and the little boy is there. The play lady lets you pour the juice and put yellow cheese on the crackers. You give some to the boy and take some for yourself. You try to give some to Mommy and Daddy, but they don't seem too interested. The play lady talks to you and the boy. You ask the boy if he wants more. He seems to be a pretty nice boy after all.

After you're all done eating and drinking, the play lady says it's time to go. You are tired, but you'd still like to play with those cars some more. The play lady says maybe another day. That sounds good to you. How about tomorrow?


Although much has changed since 1990, rigid testing procedures are still used, and even required, in some states. TPBA is the same in many ways, but it has evolved as well. Now TPBA may be done just as easily in the home, in a classroom, or in a community setting. Parents may be the primary play facilitators more frequently, and they will have more involvement before, during, and after the assessment. The process, however, remains much the same: a child- and family-friendly assessment resulting in practical, meaningful information. Whereas the Administration Guide for TPBA2 & TPBI2 describes the total TPBA process and administration, including discussion of how to obtain preliminary information, presentation of strategies for talking to families and facilitating play with children, and ways to summarize data and integrate them into a report, this volume, Transdisciplinary Play-Based Assessment, Second Edition (TPBA2), includes detailed chapters with research and literature describing significant aspects of each domain. These chapters are extensive, providing a review of the literature for each of the subcategories as well as guidelines for observation and interpretation of information obtained. Extensive Age Tables are also provided, noting age ranges for acquisition of skills and the outer ages by which time a skill should be demonstrated. These chapters provide the heart of the TPBA2 assessment process. They should be read carefully so that the rationale for the TPBA2 Observation Guidelines and the implications for services and intervention needs are fully understood. The third volume of this system, Transdisciplinary Play-Based Intervention, Second Edition(TPBI2), presents a process for planning, implementing, and evaluating intervention for children from birth to 6 years of age who need supports to enhance their development by providing a framework for conceptualizing intervention strategies and a means for monitoring and evaluating the effectiveness of the strategies selected.

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