For kids under age 3, an evaluation for early intervention services requires a multidisciplinary team of professionals. The members of the team may vary depending on your child’s needs. Each member plays an important role in evaluating your child.
Here’s who is likely to be involved.
Early Intervention Case Manager
Case managers get the evaluation process started. They lead the team’s meetings and know which resources—like types of evaluators, services for your child, and training for you—are available if needed.
As a parent, you play a key role by providing information about how your child is doing at home. It’s important to share your concerns and give updates about your child’s progress. Together with the team, you review test results and help create an early intervention plan. As part of this plan, you may be asked to practice certain skills with your child at home.
The evaluation team must have someone who can assess your child’s overall development. The psychologist observes your child, gives tests, and also looks at social and emotional milestones. Psychologists interpret the results of the team’s evaluations. They may recommend speech therapy or other services to address your child’s needs.
A medical doctor examines your child to see if any physical factors may cause or contribute to your child’s developmental delays. The doctor checks hearing and vision, and may refer your child to specialists for more testing.
This type of specialist is often part of an evaluation for early intervention services. Speech therapists observe your child and look at current speech and language skills. They also talk to you and other caregivers to find out how your child’s communication skills have been progressing.
Depending on your child’s needs, the team may bring in other specialists to evaluate different skills. Your child may see occupational therapists, physical therapists, vision and hearing specialists, and more.
Read about the specialists who work with babies and toddlers. Get details on what to expect during an early intervention evaluation. Learn more about how to help kids with developmental delays.
About the author
About the author
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.
Kristen L. Hodnett, MSEd is a clinical professor in the department of special education at Hunter College in New York City.