At a glance
Evaluation results determine what kind of help the school will provide.
Knowing your child’s exact areas of difficulty allows you to get the right support.
Kids and their families often have lots of questions about what results mean.
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.
- Get tips on interpreting test results.
- Learn why evaluation results may differ.
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.
- See next steps if you don’t agree with the results or the school’s recommendation.
- You can also request an independent educational evaluation (IEE) paid for by the school. Here’s what you need to know about IEEs.
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.
- Find out what happens at an IEP eligibility meeting.
- What if the meeting doesn’t work out? Know the steps you can take.
- Understand the differences between IEPs and 504 plans. And learn about common classroom supports, or accommodations.
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.)
- Watch an expert video for more information on ADHD.
- Learn the steps to take after getting an ADHD diagnosis.
- Read what one mom wishes people knew about raising 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?
- Find out what it means for kids to get early intervention services through an Individualized Family Service Plan (IFSP).
- Discover the benefits of at-home early intervention services.
- Get answers on who pays for early intervention services.
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.
- Get tips on how to advocate for your child.
- Read about the joy one parent felt as she saw her child regain his confidence.
- And see how getting a diagnosis as an adult changed one woman’s perspective on her own struggles and triumphs.
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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About the author
About the author
The Understood Team is made up of passionate writers and editors. Many of them have kids who learn and think differently.
Amanda Morin is the author of “The Everything Parent’s Guide to Special Education” and the former director of thought leadership at Understood. As an expert and writer, she helped build Understood from its earliest days.