What is a Special Education Evaluation?

A Special Education Evaluation is an assessment conducted by a team of professionals to determine if your child qualifies for Special Education Services.

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Introduction

A special education evaluation is an assessment used to determine if your child qualifies for special education services. The evaluation process can be overwhelming, but it is important to remember that you are your child’s best advocate. This guide will help you understand what to expect and how to prepare for a special education evaluation.

What is a Special Education Evaluation?
A special education evaluation is an assessment used to determine if your child qualifies for special education services. The evaluation process can be overwhelming, but it is important to remember that you are your child’s best advocate. This guide will help you understand what to expect and how to prepare for a special education evaluation.

The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) requires that all children with disabilities be provided with a free and appropriate public education (FAPE). In order to receive FAPE, a child must first be determined eligible for special education services. A special education evaluation is one way in which eligibility may be determined.

Evaluations must be conducted by qualified professionals and must be individually designed to meet the unique needs of the child. Evaluations may include, but are not limited to, assessments of the child’s cognitive abilities, academic achievement, social-emotional functioning, and fine and gross motor skills. After the evaluations are completed, the team will meet to discuss the results and make recommendations for service provision.

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Who conducts Special Education Evaluations?
Special education evaluations must be conducted by qualified professionals. Qualifications vary by state, but may include psychologists, school psychologists, educational diagnosticians, speech-language pathologists, occupational therapists, physical therapists, or teachers with specialized training in diagnosis and assessment of students with disabilities.

It is important to note that evaluators should not have any conflicts of interest in conducting the assessment or making recommendations for services. For example, an evaluator who also provides direct services (such as therapy) to children with disabilities should not conduct assessments or make recommendations for those same children. This conflict of interest could bias the results of the assessment or the recommended placements/services.

What is a Special Education Evaluation?

A Special Education Evaluation is an evaluation that is conducted to determine if a student is eligible for special education services. The evaluation looks at the student’s academic, social, and emotional functioning to see if they have a disability that impacts their ability to learn. The evaluation also looks at the student’s strengths and needs.

Types of Evaluations

There are three types of evaluations that can be conducted to determine if a child is eligible for special education services:

1. A psychoeducational evaluation assesses a child’s cognitive abilities and academic achievement. It can also provide information about a child’s social and emotional functioning.

2. A speech and language evaluation assesses a child’s communication skills, including receptive and expressive language, pragmatic/social communication, and speech sound production.

3. An occupational therapy evaluation assesses a child’s fine motor skills, gross motor skills, sensory processing, and self-care skills.

Depending on the referral question(s), one or more of these evaluations may be conducted. For example, if a child is having difficulties in school and is not making progress, a psychoeducational evaluation would be conducted to assess the child’s cognitive abilities and academic achievement. If the child is also having difficulty with his or her speech (e.g., stuttering), then a speech and language evaluation would also be conducted.

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When is an Evaluation Required?

Most schools will conduct what is called a classroom observation in order to determine if a child qualifies for special education services. If the school feels that the child may benefit from special education, they will then send a request to the parents asking for permission to conduct an evaluation. The evaluation process usually includes:

-A review of the child’s educational and medical records
-A developmental history
-A cognitive assessment
-An academic assessment
-An observation of the child in the school setting

The results of the evaluation will be used to determine if the child is eligible for special education services. If they are found to be eligible, an Individualized Education Plan (IEP) will be created.

The Evaluation Process

A Special Education Evaluation is an assessment conducted by a team of experts to determine if your child qualifies for special education services. The evaluation process can be intimidating, but it is important to understand what to expect. This section will cover the basics of the special education evaluation process.

Initial Evaluation

The initial evaluation is the meeting where the school team, you, and anyone you invite gather information about your child.

The school team will review your child’s records and talk to you about your child. They may observe your child in the school setting. The team will also give your child some tests. These tests help the team understand your child’s strengths and needs.

After the initial evaluation, the team will meet to decide if your child is eligible for special education services. If they decide that your child is eligible, they will work with you to develop an Individualized Education Program (IEP).

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Reevaluation

A reevaluation is conducted when a student’s eligibility for special education and related services is in question, or when a student’s disability is believed to have changed to the extent that his or her educational needs may be different. A reevaluation must take place at least once every three years, unless the parent and school agree in writing that a reevaluation is unnecessary. However, a student’s Individualized Education Program (IEP) team may decide that more frequent reevaluations are needed.

Conclusion

A Special Education Evaluation is necessary to determine if your child is eligible to receive special education services. The evaluation process can be confusing and overwhelming, but it is important to advocate for your child and make sure that they receive the services they need.

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