Step 3: Having Your Child Evaluated ... (continued)
What is included in the multidisciplinary evaluation?
Your child's multidisciplinary evaluation will include:
- A health assessment, including vision and hearing screening. Your child's health assessment should be done by your child's regular health care provider whenever possible. If your child has had a recent checkup, a new one may not be needed.
- With your permission, a review of any records that may be helpful.
- An assessment of your child's strengths and needs in each area of development (physical, cognitive, communication, socialemotional, and adaptive development).
- An interview with you about your concerns and what your child is like.
The evaluation will be planned to meet the needs of you and your child. The evaluation team may:
- Use a developmental test to look at your child's development.
- Play with your child – or ask you to play with your child.
- Spend some time watching your child.
- Ask you what your child can do now and what he or she can't do yet.
What is a "screening"?Sometimes a parent or evaluation team may be concerned about a child's development – without being sure why. A screening can be used to:
- Find out what areas of development – if any – are behind what's expected.
- Help the evaluation team decide what type of evaluation may be best.
- Find out if the child's development is "on target" even though a problem was suspected.
When a screening shows a child's development is "on target," it is unlikely that the child will be eligible for the Early Intervention Program. Parents always have the right to ask for – and get – a full multidisciplinary evaluation for their child (even if a screening suggests a child is developing fine).
You have an important role to play in your child's evaluation. Here's a list of suggestions about ways you can be an active participant in your child's multidisciplinary evaluation:
- You can be an observer.
- You can sit beside or hold your child.
- You can help with activities that explore your child's abilities.
- You can tell team members whether or not what they are seeing is typical of your child.
- You can help the team see your child's strengths and needs.
- You can comfort and support your child.
- You can ask questions and offer your opinions about how your child's evaluation is going.