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 testing results.
If that happens, the evaluators might report inaccurate information. And the Individualized Education Program 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 evaluation testing.
They do need to be prepared, though.
Explain what will happen during the testing. That can help kids feel more comfortable. You can even watch a video together to see testing in action. 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.
Also, make sure your child gets a good night’s sleep and has a healthy breakfast before testing. Kids need to feel their best on evaluation days. That leads 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 testing results mean.
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About the author
About the author
Bob Cunningham, EdM serves as executive director of learning development at Understood.