The Evaluation Process
Parents may request an evaluation if they have concerns about their child’s development. Other sources of referrals include early childhood screening, public health nurses, daycares, pre-schools, or your pediatrician. Parent permission and signatures are required in order to complete an evaluation.
After a referral is made, staff from the Early Intervention or Early Childhood Special Education program will contact you and arrange to meet you at your house or at our center. We will ask for information from you regarding your child’s early development, strengths, and concerns you may have.
We will need information regarding your child’s hearing and vision before proceeding with the evaluation. You can give us copies of any recent hearing or vision screenings or testing your child may have completed or we can attempt to screen hearing and vision at one of our sites.
If your child is under three years of age, all areas of development will be assessed. For children three years of age and older, the specific tests used will be determined based on the areas of concern.
The assessment process may require several visits. The amount of time needed will depend on things such as your child’s age, attention span, and the areas of development that are going to be assessed.
During the assessment process, the following things may occur.
- You may be asked to fill out some questionnaires in order for us to get more understanding of your child’s skills.
- Assessments will be administered that evaluate cognition, speech-language, fine and gross motor, social-emotional, and/or adaptive skills.
- An observation will be completed in a familiar setting for your child which could be your home, day care, or pre-school.
- An interview with a parent will be completed to discuss your child’s development, and areas of strength and concerns.
- Any information from other sources such as testing results from other clinics or agencies will be reviewed with your permission.
A team of people will complete the assessment. Possible team members may include:
- An Early Childhood Special Education Teacher may look at how your child understands concepts, problem solves in every day tasks, completes skills such as dressing, eating and toileting, and plays and interacts with others.
- A Speech and Language Pathologist may evaluate how your child understands language, how they express themselves, and how they produce speech sounds.
- An Occupational Therapist may look at movement skills, hand use and eye/hand coordination.
- A School Psychologist may look at how your child thinks and learns and how information is understood. They may also help in assessing your child’s social and self-help skills.
- Other team members may include a Physical Therapist, Autism Resource Specialist, Teacher of the Visually Impaired, or a Teacher of the Deaf and Hard of Hearing.
Evaluation Summary Meeting
After your child’s assessment is complete, we will meet with you to discuss the results. Throughout this process, we will determine if your child is eligible for special education services. Your child must meet state criteria in order to access special education services. When we review the evaluation results, we will discuss several possible outcomes.
- If your child does not meet state criteria for services, the staff may give you ideas, suggestions or referrals to other agencies that may be helpful to you.
- If your child qualifies for special education services, and you choose to receive services, we will develop a plan that is individualized to your child’s needs. The plan will include goals that the school team and parents would like to see your child meet in the next six months to a year.
If you are concerned with your child’s development and would like to make a referral, please call 952-388-1900.