Understanding evaluation results and next steps

Need a refresher on evaluation basics? Or maybe you’re still deciding whether your child needs an evaluation or you haven’t yet requested one. If so, go back to a previous step in our evaluation journey:

Your child has had an evaluation, and you’ve gotten the results. Now what? Evaluation results will lead to some sort of action. The school will decide whether or not your child is eligible for supports and services.

Having results can also help you take action. When you fully understand where your child is struggling, you can pursue the right help and support. You might advocate at school for certain interventions, for instance. You might also look into types of tutoring that will address your child’s needs.

This guide can help you make sense of evaluation results so you can make informed decisions based on what they show.

Understanding the evaluation results

Evaluation results can be confusing. For every answer you get, you’ll likely have new questions. That’s true for school, private, and early intervention evaluations.

Was your child tested for reading difficulties? See how the results can map to instruction and supports.

ADHD evaluations don’t involve testing. But the findings can also leave families looking for greater clarity and next steps.

It can also help to go over an evaluation report with your child’s teachers. Here are conversation starters to help guide you.

If you disagree with the evaluation results

Families don’t always agree with how the school views the results or what it recommends based on them. Or you might think the evaluation wasn’t done correctly.

In either case, there are things you can do when you disagree with the school on the evaluation process or outcome.

Talking about evaluation results with your child

Finding out the reason for their challenges can be a relief for many kids. But it’s not always an easy conversation to have. Your child may have as many questions as you do — or even more. They might also worry about what other kids think about special education services.

Your child might be comforted or even excited to hear about musicians, athletes, entrepreneurs, and other famous people who learn and think differently. Share their stories with your child.

Next steps in the process

Once you have the evaluation results, you’ll have an eligibility meeting with the evaluation team. That’s when you’ll find out if your child is eligible for special education services through an .

What if the school says your child isn’t eligible? It might recommend support through a or intervention services. No matter what happens, you can always ask the teacher about informal supports that might help in class.

Was your child privately evaluated? Find out how to work with the school to use those results.

Next steps after an ADHD diagnosis

Once you know for sure that your child has ADHD, you can seek treatment and supports at school. Your child might not be eligible for special education services for ADHD alone, but many kids with ADHD get accommodations through 504 plans. (See a sample 504 plan for a child with ADHD.)

Next steps after receiving early intervention evaluation results

Kids who are eligible for early intervention will start getting the help they need before starting school. But what does that look like?

And read what one mom wishes she’d known sooner about early intervention.

Moving forward and gaining confidence

Your journey with your child doesn’t stop with the evaluation. In many ways, it’s just beginning. From here, you’ll continue to learn about your child’s challenges and how you can be a source of support and advocacy as your child moves toward becoming a thriving adult.

Key takeaways

  • If your child isn’t eligible for special education, the school might recommend a 504 plan.

  • If you disagree with the results, there are steps you can take.

  • Evaluation results are the start of the next part of your journey: Getting the right support for your child.


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