Karen Sealander, an educational diagnostician and special education professor, offers her expertise about re-evaluations for IEPs. She teaches classes for special education teachers to learn about assessments used in special education and works with her local districts to improve the test options used in initial special education evaluations as well as re-evaluations. She took time to answer a few short questions about re-evaluation assessments and tips for parents. Her responses to the questions are here. Thanks, Karen!
I know the school districts do the re-evaluation testing for my child’s IEP, do they select the tests they will use? Yes, the school district will select the instruments, both formal and informal. The selection of these instruments will be based on several factors and should include input from the IEP team. It is important to note however, that the IEP team may determine at the time of reevaluation that no additional data is needed thus no tests will be given. Typically, the disability category for which the reevaluation is being requested plays into which instruments are chosen. Second, any needs as articulated by the IEP team– and you as the parent–are considered. It is important to know that the evaluation and reevaluation process may vary somewhat state to state but the basics are the same in compliance with the federal regulations.
What types of tests are typically done at a re-evaluation? As mentioned above, each State determines its reevaluation procedures. And, as mentioned, it is the IEP team that determines what should be done at the reevaluation. For example, if there is concern regarding the child’s cognitive functioning, an IQ test may be requested to compare with the previous assessment of cognitive functioning. The IEP team may request additional information on academic performance. In this case, an individually administered test of academic achievement may be administered. If your child receives additional services, instruments associated with that service (i.e. Speech and Language, OT, PT) might be administered.
Will the school show me the testing when it’s done? The school will not show you the testing but they will share with you the results of the assessment at the IEP meeting. Additionally you will receive a written report for your records.
What should I do to help my child prepare for re-evaluation testing? As with any assessment, you can help ease any anxiety the child might have. As a parent, you can help your child understand that this process is not something that results in a grade in the class nor it is something that they should be afraid of. Additionally, the child should be well rested before the session and have had an adequate breakfast or lunch.