An evaluation is the gateway to special education. Before your child can get special education and related services for the first time, the school must give her a comprehensive evaluation. This process is guided by legal rules in the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA).
Understanding the comprehensive evaluation process is easier if you don’t think of “evaluation” as meaning a single “test.” There’s a reason it’s called an evaluation process. A series of steps are needed to look at (or evaluate) your child’s strengths, weaknesses and school performance.
The process aims to get a better understanding of the whole child. That can’t happen with just one assessment or test. Here’s a breakdown of the evaluation process to help you understand it.