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the fusion of the assessment team’s knowledge and

experience with all the information collected during an assessment, including informal measures, such as interviews with parents or observation of the child, and standardized measures such as test scores. Another commenter recommended that States be allowed to define informed clinical opinion based on the definition of developmental delay for the State.

Lastly, a few commenters requested clarification of

the last phrase of new §303.321(a)(3)(ii) (proposed

§303.320(b)(2)), which states that informed clinical

opinion may not negate the results of assessment instruments used to establish eligibility.

Discussion: As set forth in new §303.321(a)(3)(ii),

qualified personnel must use their informed clinical opinion when conducting an evaluation or an assessment of a child. The use of informed clinical opinion by qualified personnel is neither an objective criterion nor a separate assessment strategy. Rather, informed clinical opinion is the way in which qualified personnel utilize their cumulative knowledge and experience in evaluating and assessing a child and in interpreting the results of evaluation and assessment instruments.

With regard to allowing States to define informed