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.

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