As we have discussed in previous blog posts, the first step to retaining special education services for your child is generally an evaluation. Whether the school conducts this evaluation, or you obtain an independent educational evaluation (IEE) from a private agency, it is important to note that all evaluations are not the same.
All children are different. Therefore, there is not one evaluation that fits all students. So, what are the various tests that fall under the category of educational evaluation?
An evaluation could involve many assessments
There are many kinds of evaluations and procedures that may be a part of a school evaluation or an IEE. These include, but are not limited to:
- Social and emotional assessments, to clarify the child’s ability to regulate their emotions and the development of their social skills
- Speech and language evaluations, to understand the child’s development of verbal and nonverbal skills
- Physical evaluations, which can include occupational therapy, to assess the child’s motor skills and physical development
- Cognitive and behavioral assessments, to determine how the child’s brain functions and assess the child’s behavioral development
There are more types of evaluations, but these are generally the most common.
Which ones will your child obtain?
The evaluations your child receives will depend on their educational needs, according to the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). Therefore, they could obtain one kind of assessment – which in itself may include several – or several types of evaluations. It will heavily depend on:
- The struggles your child faces in school
- The disability you or professionals suspect they have
For example, if you believe your child may have autism, the evaluation may include a speech and language, social and emotional and cognitive assessments. The range of evaluations conducted will be different for each child.
If you wish to obtain an evaluation for your child, it is beneficial to understand the process that lies ahead. That way, you can prepare yourself and your child for this step.