By: Hinkle, Fingles & Prior, Attorneys at Law

The New Jersey Comprehensive Assessment Tool is the newest assessment the Division of Developmental Disabilities (“DDD”) is using to determine eligibility and funding levels. Completing this questionnaire is one of the most important steps you will take in preparing for your child to receive the appropriate level of supports and services from DDD.

Recently, DDD announced that anyone who completed an assessment prior to November 2014 will need to complete the NJCAT.

In preparation to complete the questionnaire, please imagine your child in a world that does not exist – a world where your child receives no natural supports. To help visualize this, imagine your child lives in his or her own apartment where you visit once a week. During your visit you ensure your child showers, brushes his or her teeth, and puts on clean clothes. You also make sure the laundry is done, meals are prepared and the apartment is clean. You leave and return one week later – What do you find?

  • Has your child showered?
  • Brushed his or her teeth?
  • Is he or she wearing clean clothes?
  • What does the apartment look like? Is it clean?
  • What has your child eaten?

The answers to these questions will help you asses your child’s self-care, independent living and self-direction skills. If your child cannot perform these tasks without your intervention, prompting, directions and assistance; then your child needs lots of assistance with these tasks. Be sure your responses on the questionnaire makes this clear.

Also, keep the following in mind when responding to the questions:

  • Think of your child on their worst day
  • Do not take into account the growth your child may have experienced over the last few years. The difference between your child and a typically developing child of the same age provides the best illustration of functioning ability.
  • Compare your child to a typically developing child of the same age
    • This form is often completed when your child is 21 years old. A typically developing 21 year-old may be living completely on their own, or living in a dorm at college.
Published on Nov 6th, 2015. © Copyright 2015 Hinkle, Fingles & Prior, P.C., Attorneys at Law. All rights reserved.
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