ENSI Overview

Download this page

What is the ENSI? The ENSI is a screening instrument that was designed: a) to help physicians, teachers, counsellors and other professionals working with students to develop a better understanding of that student’s possible educational needs, and b) to offer suggestions for constructive actions that are appropriate for each of the areas of potential concern detected.

Requirements: The ENSI is suitable for use with students in kindergarten through the ninth grade, who range from five through 15 years of age. The individual providing information on the ENSI should know the student well, and be familiar with the student’s developmental history.

What areas are screened?  The ENSI screens for “Possible” and “Likely” problems across the following areas:

12345a) Global learning rate (including: above-average and below-average learning rates)
12345b) Learning problems (including: auditory-verbal, visual-motor, and nonspecific learning problems, as well as general learning skill deficits)
12345c) Attention and Behaviour problems (including “internalizing”, “externalizing”  and “nonspecific” behaviour problems), and
12345d) Adjustment problems (including general maladjustment and social/cultural disadvantage).

Reports: The ENSI results are reported in two ways. The ‘Summary’ report option provides a concise tabled and graphical record of the obtained results. It is ideally suited for use by physicians and administrators. The narrative, ‘Full Report’ option includes the same graphical and tabled summary of findings, but it also describes all of the areas of potential concern that are detected; and details practical strategies or step-by-step action plans to address them.

Structure: The ENSI follows the “template” of a psycho-educational assessment, and is based upon published research² showing that measures of this nature can do a remarkably good job of identifying possible educational concerns.

Sources: The major sources contributing to the current edition of the ENSI include:

12345a) the School Problem Screening Inventory1 ,
12345b) research published by the ENSI’s author2 ,
12345c) information contained in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders3 ,
12345d) information published regarding giftedness4, and
12345e) norms provided by Mash and Terdel5 regarding attention deficit hyperactivity disorder.

Efficiency: The ENSI is a very powerful and efficient screening instrument. In requiring only carergiver-supplied, multiple-choice answers to a total of 76 questions, the ENSI flags potential problems in most of the major special education categories for students ranging from five to 15 years of age. Additional important efficiency aspects of the ENSI are:

12345a) it is available online 24 hours per day, seven days a week,
12345b) it can be completed in 15 minutes or less
12345c) it is instantly scored, and
12345d) a printable report of the results is immediately available.

Economy: Unlike a formal psycho-educational assessment that may costs thousands of dollars –and often must be booked months in advance — the ENSI can be administered at any time, and has a remarkably low cost of $9.95.

Disclaimer:  The ENSI is NOT a diagnostic test, but it can be appropriately used to screen for possible educationally significant needs, and to provide suggestions for instruction, formal assessments, case management, and counselling interventions. 


1. Gnagey, Thomas D. (1974) The School Problem Screening Inventory. Facilitation House: Ottawa, Illinois.

2. Nodrick, W.S. and Li, A.K. (1985) Concurrent Validity of the School Problem Screening Inventory for Behaviour-Disordered Students, Psychology in the Schools, 1992, 29, 126 -131.

3. American Psychiatric Association (1987) The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (third edition – revised). Washington, D.C.: Author.

4. Personal, Social, Medical and Psychological Factors in 190+ IQ Children. Presented by Karen Rogers and Linda Silverman at the National Association for Gifted Children 44th Annual Convention in Little Rock, Arkansas, November 7, 1997.
5. Barkley, R.A. (1990) Attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder: A handbook for diagnosis and treatment. New York: The Guilford Press.

Home  |  About  |  ENSI  |  Resources  |  Contact