Do Your Child's Evaluations Overwhelm You?
Mar 21, 2023
Have you really sat down and taken a solid look at the evaluations provided by the school district or other sources? Have you researched the evaluations to understand what the categories mean on an evaluation and what they are assessing? Knowing what these evaluations mean and becoming an educated consumer when it comes to your child’s future is a critical and valuable investment of time. Here are six steps to consider while reading your child’s evaluations:
- Once you take the time to do your research on the assessments used, sit down with a pad of paper and go through all of the evaluations one by one. Divide your note taking paper into two sides: strengths and weaknesses.
- Look for clues in the evaluations as if you are on scavenger hunt. This can help to establish patterns in your child’s strengths and weaknesses across evaluations. Assess if there are similarities and discrepancies between evaluations.
- When going through the evaluations, make sure your child has been assessed for function and not just academics. Did the evaluator take a look at your child in the classroom and how they interact in the school setting? You should be given information as to how the child reacts in different environments and what outside stressors or demands are made. A few other components that should be assessed are as follows: attention span, time management, and organizational skills.
- If a child is functioning higher at home than at school, determine whether or not a home assessment is needed to understand more clearly why there is a difference. This can also happen in the reverse where a child functions better when they are outside of the home. An evaluation can help you to figure out the reason for this.
- Districts often average scores together on an evaluation. Get the scores for all of the subtests done during an evaluation. For example, the Woodcock- Johnson educational evaluation has a chart that divides the test into subcategories and gives numbers and how each of them compares with their typical peers. Make sure you get all the scores and not just averages. This can display greater detail when looking at areas of strength and weakness that may not show up when the scores are averaged.
- If you have prior evaluations compare them to the current ones. Do you see progress in the numbers and assessments? Make a chart of these numbers and track them over time. This is one of the most important things you can do! This is essential to see if the progress reports you receive from the district align with what is being seen in the evaluations. If there are discrepancies, write them down!
These are just a few steps you can take to get to know your child and their potential to succeed. The key thing here is to not just “show up” to an IEP. Come to the IEP prepared with a good understanding of your child! As we have been talking about, understanding and closely monitoring your child’s progress and potential is vital! You must have a solid understanding of your child and their development! On March 29, 2023, Pathways invites you to join us for a special parent training program featuring:
Dr. Kimberly Mooney PhD, LDTC, LPC and Meri Merkt School Psychologist
This workshop will be virtual and will address how the child study team interprets and uses the educational evaluation and the psychological evaluation to create the IEP.
They will talk about topics such as:
1) What are the main components of the evaluations
2) How the evaluations determine the needs of the student
3) How the needs drive the modifications and accommodations
4) How the evaluations drive the goals of the IEP so we can measure if progress is being made.
Get registered by clicking here.