The Evaluation Process

Copy of Copy of Compassion Experience 4 1

Why evaluations are the most important thing


Services that  your child receives through his or her IEP aren’t diagnosis-driven; rather, they are needs-driven.  Because of this, evaluations are the most important part of the IEP process.   Evaluations are needed to (1) show that your child is eligible for special education services, and (2) specify what your child’s needs are.  As you begin the IEP process, be sure to ask by email for “evaluations in all areas of suspected disability.”  The evaluations will be multifaceted, with testing, observation, parent surveys, teacher/therapist reports, etc..  

As you begin this process, it is critical to keep in mind that each of these evaluations should accurately reflect the child in front of you.  Make sure the present levels are clear because they form the baseline to which progress is measured.   Remember that IEPs are data-driven;  consequently, they must adequately  reflect the gaps between your child’s present level of performance and that of his/her same-aged peers.

What Types of Evaluations Should Parents of Children with Dup15q Request?

Children with Dup15q differ significantly with regard to their need for various services and  therapies.  That being said, the majority of these children will  benefit tremendously from services and therapies in multiple areas.  These include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Speech and language (expressive, receptive, pragmatic, articulation, disfluency, pronoun reversals, etc.)
  • Fine motor skills
  • Large motor skills
  • Social skills
  • Executive function and self regulation
  • Behavior (attention, aggression, repetitive/perseverative, anxiety, etc.) – requires an FBA
  • Academics (reading, math)
  • Adaptive skills (daily living skills)
  • Cognitive ability – neuropsychologist
  • Adaptive technology

We recommend that you refer to the above list when you are considering areas for evaluation.   Keep in mind that school officials may attempt to dissuade you from various evaluations because they don’t want to pay for them.  Be assertive and explain why you feel a specific evaluation is needed!  

 What Resources are Especially Helpful with  Understanding the Evaluation Process? 

If you have the time to do some reading with regard to the evaluation process for IEPs, consider reviewing the following resources:

    • The Pacer Center is a non-profit based out of Bloomington, Minnesota.  It’s mission is to “enhance the quality of life and expand opportunities for children, youth, and young adults with all disabilities and their families so each person can reach his or her highest potential.”  Pacer provides an excellent resource titled Evaluation: What Does it Mean for your Child at  Although it was written for Minnesota families, this is  applicable to families across America who are dealing with the IEP process.  As you will see, this resource addresses the following critical issues:
      • Why have an evaluation?
      • What measures are used to evaluate a child?
      • What types of tests are available?
      • What criteria are used in selecting tests?
      • What is functional assessment?
      • What is functional behavioral assessment?
      • How are evaluation results used?
      • When are students reevaluated?
      • What questions should I consider when evaluation or reevaluation is proposed?

NOTE: If you are seeking an evaluation from a private school, the Pacer Center has further prepared  a helpful  resource titled Obtaining an Evaluation for a Private school Student at

    • A Day In Our Shoes is a website prepared by Lisa Lightner who is a special education advocate.  Lisa provides multiple articles related to the IEP process.  With regard to evaluations, Lisa provides an excellent resource titled IEP Testing and Evaluations: What Parents Should Know/Timelines/Initial Evals at This article addresses the following issues:
  • IEP Evaluations: 
        • IEP Evaluation Tests
        • How long does a school have to respond to a request? 
        • Can a school district refuse to evaluate my child?
        • IEF Testing – What to ask for
        • How long does the school have to evaluate my child?
        • It’s been much longer than 60 days.  What can I do?
  • IEP Evaluations and IEP Process:
      • How to request IEP Evaluations
      • IEE Independent Education Evaluations
      • Parental Rights/IDEA Procedural Safeguards.

NOTE: A Day In Our Shoes further provides an excellent resource regarding how to request IEP Evaluations.  This link provides IEP letter templates which are very helpful! See: