Evaluation Process - Special Education
The Alpine School District Early Childhood Assessment Center is committed to locating and identifying children ages 3-5 who have disabilities, as defined by Individuals with Disabilities Education Act 2004 (IDEA).
Parents may request an evaluation if they have concerns about their child’s development. Other sources of referrals include early intervention programs (Kids on the Move), Head Start or doctors/pediatricians.
Areas of development that may be evaluated based on concerns can include:
Thinking, figuring things out, problem-solving, matching, sorting
Talking, understanding, communicating
Gross motor skills like walking, climbing; Fine motor skills like coloring and cutting
Getting along with others, coping, play, behavior
Self-help in areas like dressing and eating, personal responsibility
-Parent and/or legal guardian permission and signatures are required in order to complete an evaluation.
-The specific tests used will be determined based on the areas of concern.
-The assessment process may require several visits.
-The amount of time needed will depend on things such as a child’s age, attention span, and the areas of development that need to be assessed.
-Parents may be asked to fill out developmental questionnaires and/or participate in a parent interview that reflect their child’s current level of performance.
-Parents may bring in additional information for the evaluation team to review and consider such as medical diagnosis, testing results from other clinics, and any additional information from current preschool classrooms.
Determination of Eligibility
After the appropriate evaluations are complete, the team, including the parents will consider the evaluation results as well as any additional information provided by the parents. Following this discussion, the team will determine whether the child is eligible to receive special education and related services under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). For children to be eligible, they must meet all three parts of the following:
1. They must have one of the identified disability categories as outlined in the Utah Special Education Rules.
2. The disability must adversely affect their education performance; and
3. The student needs specialized instruction that requires special education and related services.
As part of this process, the team will discuss the relevant disability classifications and determine which one, if any, best represents the child’s primary disability. The team members, including parents sign the eligibility document. The Assessment Center will mail a copy of the evaluation summary report to the parents.
An Early Childhood Special Education Teacher may look at how your child understands concepts; problem solves in everyday tasks, completes skills such as dressing, eating and toileting, and plays and interacts with others.
A Speech and Language Pathologist may evaluate how a child understands language, how they express themselves, and how they produce speech sounds.
An Occupational Therapist may look at hand use and eye/hand coordination.
A Gross Motor Specialist may look at large motor skills, object manipulation, and stationary skills.
A School Psychologist may look at how a child thinks and learns and how information is understood. They may also help in assessing a child’s social and self-help skills.
An Individualized Education Plan (IEP) will be developed. An IEP team will call the parent/guardian to set up an appointment within a few weeks of the eligibility date. This plan includes goals in each of the areas the child qualifies in, services needed, how much time is needed to make progress on those goals, and determination of placement, or where the services will take place.
Determined Not Eligible
If the child does not meet eligibility for services, the team may give parents ideas and suggestions of things that can be worked on from home. If concerns persist, a child can be tested once every six months.