An individual evaluation means any procedures, tests, or assessments, including observations, given individually to your child to find out whether he or she has a disability and/or to identify his or her special education needs. The term does not include basic tests given to groups of children in a school, grade or class.
There are a number of assessments needed to determine disability. Others may be needed, but the following are the most common:
- Psychological Evaluation
- A psychological evaluation may include, but is not limited to assessing verbal and nonverbal cognitive skills, achievement skills, processing and memory skills, and social-emotional development. Evaluation results will help identify your child’s learning strengths and/or needs.
- Classroom Observation
- An observation in the learning environment or natural setting to gather information on factors that could be influencing a student's performance.
- Social History
- Information regarding your child's family will be obtained to assess the various factors in the home e.g. sibling influence, traumatic events, family history of special education services etc. that may impact your child's academic and social development. The information gathered will assist school staff to be aware of issues that might trigger changes in your child's mood or behaviors and assist them in developing strategies to address these changes. During this discussion your insights regarding your child's strengths and weaknesses will also be gathered and incorporated in the understanding of your child.
- Health Assessment
- An assessment of your child's medical needs will be completed to assist in determining if there are any medical factors that might be impacting your child's learning in the educational setting. Information may be gathered in the following areas, but not limited to these areas: vision, medical history, current/historical medications used, height and weight, hospitalizations, allergies, etc... The information gathered from this assessment will assist in developing any medical interventions that might be necessary within the school environment.
- Functional Behavioral Assessment
- A process of gathering and analyzing information about a student's behavior and accompanying circumstances in order to determine the purpose or intent of the actions
- Occupational Therapy Evaluation
- The Occupational Therapy evaluation may include but is not limited to, assessing strength, coordination, fine motor skills, ability to copy or create lines and shapes as they relate to writing, eye hand coordination, and perceptual skills. Testing may also address your child's ability to react appropriately to sensory input such as touch, sound, and or movement. Evaluation results will help identify your child's strengths and/or needs to determine if OT services are needed to facilitate academic success.
- Speech Language Evaluation
- A Speech Language evaluation may include, but is not limited to assessing articulation, expressive and receptive language, pragmatic language, fluency, hearing and oral motor skills. This may be in the form of a standardized speech and language screen or a full comprehensive evaluation. Screening and/or evaluation results will help identify your child's communication strengths and/or needs to determine if Speech Therapy services are needed to facilitate academic success and ensure accessibility to the academic environment.
- Physical Therapy Evaluation
- The Physical Therapy evaluation may include but is not limited to, assessing strength, range of motion, balance and coordination; ability to complete gross motor skills such as hopping, jumping, kicking, catching, throwing, and functional mobility (walking or wheelchair). Evaluation results will help identify your child's strengths and/or needs to determine if PT services are needed to facilitate academic success and ensure accessibility to the academic environment.
School districts shall ensure that assessments and other evaluation materials used to assess a student under this section are provided and administered in the student's native language or other mode of communication and in the form most likely to yield accurate information on what the student knows and can do academically, developmentally and functionally, unless it is clearly not feasible to so provide or administer.
The results of the evaluation must be shared with you. When the CSE has conducted an evaluation for determining your child’s eligibility for special education, you must be provided a copy of the evaluation report and documentation of determination of eligibility. In addition, if you are the parent of a preschool child, the CPSE must also give you a copy of the summary report of the findings of the evaluation.