TIPS FOR PARENTS
✓ What is the purpose of each evaluation? Why is it being given?
✓ What areas will be evaluated? What information will be gained?
✓ What specific tests or portions of tests will be used and why?
✓ Whether you, as parents, or the district initiates an evaluation, be familiar with the qualifications of the evaluator. Get recommendations from people you respect before deciding whom to use.
✓ Does the evaluation need to be modified/adapted to compensate for your child’s suspected disability?
✓ Are these evaluations administered in a language and form most likely to yield accurate information on what the child knows and can do academically, developmentally and functionally?
✓ When reviewing an evaluation, ask yourself, “Does this sound like my child?” “How does this compare with other evaluations?” “What is getting in the way of my child being able to learn?” “How does this impact my child’s ability to be successful in school?”
✓ To ensure your understanding, get a copy of the evaluations and recommendations and discuss them with evaluators prior to the PPT meeting. It is helpful if the evaluator attends the PPT meeting and discusses and advocates for his or her own report with the team.
✓ If the district pays for the evaluation, it becomes the property of the district. If you pay for it, it is your property, and the results need not be shared with the school-based team. If you share the evaluation with the team, the team must “consider” the results and recommendations, and it becomes part of your child’s educational records.
✓ If new to a school system, consider informing your child’s school of past evaluations, services and supports, for example, therapies, counseling, medications or existing medical conditions.
✓ Prior to the PPT meeting, consider providing the school with copies of existing evaluations.
✓ Inform school personnel of any services your child receives independently, outside of school. Ask that providers collaborate so everyone is “on the same page.”
✓ Understand that the end result of this process is a team decision regarding eligibility. You are a key member of the team and your input is valuable and essential.