My child is going to have a special education evaluation soon. Is this something kids should study for?
No. An evaluation for special education isn’t something kids should study for. Studying for an evaluation can actually be more harmful than helpful.
The goal of an evaluation is to get a better sense of a child’s abilities and skills and how they compare with those of other kids. So drilling on skills, like reading and math, right before the evaluation can be counterproductive. It could throw off the results.
If that happens, the evaluators might report inaccurate information. And the evaluation team uses that information to make important decisions. That includes decisions on what type of support your child needs and whether your child needs special education at all.
Accurate results are crucial. With the right support, kids can thrive in school and beyond. That’s why kids shouldn’t study for an evaluation.
They do need to be prepared, though.
Explain what will happen during the evaluation. That can help kids feel more comfortable. You can even watch a video together to see what the assessment activities might look like. Tell your child who will be at the evaluation, too.
If you’re not sure about what will happen or how to talk to your child about it, you can ask the school for guidance.
You can also help your child get a good night’s sleep and have a healthy breakfast before meeting with an evaluator. This can help ease stress and lead to more accurate results.
Meanwhile, there are more things you can do to make sure kids get what they need from the evaluation process. Get answers to other questions you may have about evaluations. You might also want to learn about your rights during the evaluation process and what evaluation results mean.
About the author
About the author
Bob Cunningham, EdM has been part of the Understood team since its founding. He has also been the chief administrator for several independent schools and a school leader in both general and special education.