Prepare for the evaluation

It helps to make sure that you have all your child's records and an idea what to ask the evaluators to look at.

What happens first?

The school must get your permission, or consent, to schedule the evaluation. They will send you a form to sign.

If you say yes, the school will write up a notice that explains what will happen during the evaluation. After you give your consent, the school must do the evaluation within 30 school days.

Here's what you can do: Sign the form to give consent for the evaluation. If you don't want to, talk with your child's teacher or the school department liaison. Explain your concerns. Gather paperwork that may help describe your child's issues. (Medical records with diagnosis or test results, notes from a preschool teacher or caregiver). Be ready to describe your own concerns. It is very helpful to write them down ahead of time!


Image of a checklistMake sure the school evaluates all areas of concern.

There are different kinds of evaluations. They will use a variety of assessment tools and strategies to gather important information about your child. The school is required to check all areas where you or they suspect a disability.

  • Ask what kind of evaluations they plan to do

  • Make sure that they plan to asses all areas that you're concerned about

For example: If you have concerns about your child's behavior, ask for a Functional Behavior Analysis (FBA). This can tell if your child could use a behavioral plan, which uses positive strategies to help them.


Sources: Family TIES of MA, Federation for Children with Special Needs, MA DESE