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An evaluation is the process used to determine whether your child has a disability. This process includes a review of any relevant data, and the individual administration of any tests, assessments and observations of your child. Each assessment must be conducted by a person who has appropriate training, or who is qualified to conduct the assessment though his or her professional license or certification.
What You Need to Know
- Evaluations are free and completed within a 60 day (most states) Special Education timeline that begins the day a parent or teacher signs a request for their child to be evaluated.
- Evaluation report may describe an educational disability (i.e. Speech/Language Impairment) but will not include a diagnosis (i.e. ADHD).
- Only medical doctors can give a diagnosis such as ADHD.
- Parents are given a copy of the evaluation report.
- Recommendations for program, supports, and services are made by school-based Individualized Education Program (IEP) teams (including parents) at the IEP meeting.
- Never fear evaluations.
- Usually costs between $3,000-$7,500 (paid for by private insurance, Medicaid, or out of pocket by parents), and can take up to 3-6 months from first phone call.
- Evaluator can be an expert in a specific disability and is often very knowledgeable on how children process information.
- Evaluation is very thorough, done over multiple sessions, and uses up-to-date tests to produce a report.
- Report may provide a clear diagnosis, such as dyslexia, ADHD, learning disability, or autism spectrum disorder.
- Parent owns the report and decides whether or not to share it.
- Report will include recommendations for specific programs, supports, and services.