What happens In an evaluation?
Professionals will do a series of assessments that look at all areas that may make it hard for your child to learn in school. It should give a detailed account of your child’s strengths, challenges and needs.
The evaluation usually includes these parts:
Information from parents
Observations of your child in school and maybe at home
An interview with your child about their experience in school
Formal and informal assessments (tests). There are many special tests that give a better picture of how your child learns, and what is hard for them. These will vary based on your child's needs
For example, they may test your child's communication style, motor skills, social and emotional well-being, hearing, vision, memory, behaviors and abilities in different school subjects
The evaluation should answer these questions:
Does your child have a disability? What type?
Does the disability keep your child from making normal progress in school?
What kind of specially designed instruction or other services does your child need in order to follow the general curriculum?
What if my child is not yet in school or doesn't talk?
If your child is not yet in school, the evaluators may observe them at home or at daycare or preschool.
Of course if your child cannot express their needs, interests, and challenges, the evaluators will not interview them.
Who does the assessments?
Qualified professionals will do each part of the evaluation. They may be learning specialists, school psychologists, or others.
How much does it cost?
The school will pay for the evaluation.
Who sees the results?
All results are confidential. Only people directly involved with your child, like you and their teacher, will see them. You must give written consent before others can see the information.
Sources: Federation for Children with Special Needs, LA DOE