Q: How do I know if I should have my child evaluated?
A: If you have any reason to suspect that your child may be delayed in his/her development, you should request an evaluation. Through the evaluation process you will learn about your child’s strengths and weaknesses and whether or not he/she needs help in any area and is eligible for special education services.
When you call our agency to request an evaluation, our professionals are available to discuss your concerns and explain the evaluation process from beginning to end. (As the parent/guardian, you are involved each and every step of the way; sharing information during the evaluations and making decisions regarding services.) Remember, evaluations are offered at no cost to families.
Q: I think my child may have a delay, but my doctor keeps telling me that ‘everything is fine’. What should I do?
A: As a parent / guardian, if you are concerned about your child’s development it is your legal right to request an evaluation. (Since you spend the most time with your child, you know your child best and your concerns may be well founded. Each of the professionals who evaluate your child specializes in his/her specific field and will use standardized tests to determine if your child qualifies for services.) A doctor’s approval or prescription is not necessary in order to evaluate your child.
Q: How old should my child be in order to evaluate him/her?
A: It is never too early! Children can receive therapy from birth! There is significant research which indicates that early intervention makes a significant difference. If you have any concerns about your child’s development at any age feel free to contact our agency for more information.
Q: Once my child is evaluated will I need to accept the services that are recommended?
A: As the parent/guardian of a child under the age of 5, you can decide to accept all, some, or none of the services recommended. You can also write a letter directly to your child’s district to request that your child’s case be reviewed or closed at any time during the evaluation process.
Keep in mind that, you, the parent/guardian are an integral participant throughout the evaluation and decision making process. First, your child will be evaluated to determine his/her strengths and weaknesses, and eligibility for services. These results will be shared with you verbally by the evaluators and later in the form of written reports. You will then be invited to a CPSE meeting with an administrator from your school district and a representative from our agency. During this meeting the results of the evaluations, including your child’s strengths and weaknesses, areas of delay, and eligibility for services will be discussed with you. All decisions regarding recommendations for services will be made with your input and knowledge.
My child is bright, but his behavior can be difficult. Can an evaluation help?
A:Yes. Jackson provides a variety of evaluations/services which includes support for children with behavioral needs. Often, children’s behavior is a way of communicating their needs. At Jackson, it is our goal to determine why a child is acting out (what he/she needs), and then how to address these behaviors. For example, children with sensory processing issues (see occupational therapy) may have difficulty focusing, remaining seated, or may respond drastically to touch, sounds, or smells in their environment. Strategically placed movement breaks and/or a sensory diet may be key to helping them with their behavior.
Can evaluations and services be provided at home?
A:Yes, evaluations (not sure about this?) and services can be provided at home for your child. They can also be provided at your child’s current daycare /school, depending on your child’s eligibility. Children who are eligible for a special class typically receive services at our school with free transportation services.