An evaluation can be a stress-free experience if you know what to expect and understand why your child needs an evaluation. Plus, if you are prepared for this experience, the process will go faster, you will get all of your questions answered, and your child will be well-suited to receive the ideal IEP. While it may seem like a smart move to request an evaluation as soon as you notice potential problems with your child, you may actually want to wait a few weeks to ensure that you have everything in place to make the evaluation proceed as smoothly as possible.
Gather evidence of your child’s skills and your concerns.
You probably have very specific concerns that you want to have addressed at the evaluation whether this evaluation is completed by the school district or by an independent psychiatrist. However, your concerns may not completely come to light in your child during this very short review period. Instead, you may want to keep track of your concerns prior to the evaluation by collecting report cards, tests, notes that have been sent home from teachers, and other written evidence of your concerns.
Speak to teachers and assistants.
You will also want to schedule a meeting with each of your child’s primary teachers. While you are the parent and clearly know the most about your child, teachers get to see a different side of your child and may be aware of habits or problems that you never get to see at home. A quick meeting can give you more insight into what could help your child.
Learn more about pre-IEP services.
While an IEP is certainly helpful in certain circumstances, it is not the only option that could help your child. Many school districts offer pre-referral scholastic services if your child is struggling in school. These professionals can provide tips or tutoring to help your child accelerate his learning and get back on the same scholastic schedule as his peers.