INITIAL EARLY CHILDHOOD ASSESSMENTS
The preschool evaluation process has undergone changes to help better identify children’s strengths and needs, in a setting that is more natural for young children.
A preschool classroom staffed by a team of educational professionals provides the structure and normalcy to provide assessments for preschool-aged children. Students in need of initial evaluations are scheduled into the classroom for two half days (approximately 2 ½ hours each day). While in the classroom the child can be observed demonstrating various skills including their ability to separate from their parents, ability to interact with children and adults, ability to follow directions, participation in teacher-led activities, use of small and large muscles, use of speech, language, and communication skills, and self-help/independence skills.
During this two day period, children who need more formal assessments because of suspected disabilities such as cognitive disabilities, multiple disabilities, traumatic brain injury, orthopedic impairments, blind/low vision, or deaf/hard of hearing will be further assessed by the school psychologist, speech-language pathologist, occupational therapist, physical therapist, teachers of children who experience blindness/low vision and/or who experience deafness/hard-of-hearing disabilities.
Following the assessment, a case conference is held with the parent, school personnel, and outside of school staff if applicable. The case conference determines the child’s eligibility for special education services, individualized education program (IEP) goals, and placement/intensity of services.