Your Child's Evaluation

If you decide that the EIP can help your child and family, the next step is to have your child evaluated. This evaluation is called a Multidisciplinary Evaluation (MDE). "Multidisciplinary" means that a team of qualified professionals from different disciplines or professions will take part in your child's evaluation. Children with certain diagnosed conditions are automatically eligible for the EIP. For these children, the purpose of the MDE is to assess your child's strengths, needs, and current level of functioning in all areas of development. The five areas of develop- ment that will be looked at to assist in developing the IFSP are: cognitive (learning and thinking), physical (growth, vision and hearing, gross and fine motor abilities), communication (understanding and using words), social-emotional (relating to others), and adaptive (self-help skills, such as feeding). If suspected of having a developmental delay, your child will be evaluated to determine if he or she is eligible for EI services and supports.

Your ISC is responsible for discussing all options for evaluation with you from a list of New York State Department of Health approved evaluators. This includes helping you decide which evaluator would be best, based on your child's needs, the location of the evaluator, types of evaluations performed, and setting for the evaluation (home or evaluation agency).

Once you pick an evaluator, either you or your ISC, with your permission, will call the evaluator and make an appointment for your child's evaluation. You must provide your written consent before the evaluation may take place. The evaluation process must be responsive to your child and family's cultural back- ground, including the languages spoken at home.

Your child's MDE will include:

  • A health assessment, including vision and hearing screening. Your child's health assessment should be done by your child's health care provider whenever possible. If your child has had a recent checkup, a new one may not be needed;
  • With your consent, a review of any of your child's previous records that may be helpful;
  • An assessment of your child's strengths and needs in each area of development (physical, cognitive, communication, social-emotional, and adaptive);
  • An interview with you about your concerns related to your child's development, and what your child is like; and
  • A discussion about your child's transportation needs if EI services will take place outside the home.

The results of the MDE will be used to determine your child's eligibility for the EIP. You and the evaluation team will meet and review all of the information about your child's developmental progress. The evaluation team will talk with you about whether your child meets the EIP criteria for having a developmental delay, or a diagnosed physical or mental condition, and is eligible for the EIP.