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Deciding on evaluation

At a Glance: What You Might Hear From School After a Special Education Evaluation

By Peg Rosen

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An evaluation can help everyone understand why your child might be struggling. Once testing is completed, a team will review results and decide what services and supports your child needs. Here are some of the possible outcomes they may present to you at your eligibility meeting.

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At a Glance: What You Might Hear From School After a Special Education Evaluation

A school evaluation does not guarantee your child will be placed in special education. Learn about the range of actions a school may suggest after testing.

“Your child qualifies for special education services.”
What this means: Your child has shown need for protection under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act. An Individualized Education Program (IEP) team will create goals and give the support he needs to achieve them.
Services might include: Extra support in class or in a separate room. If the school cannot meet his needs, the district will pay for him to attend a school that can.

“Your child qualifies for 504 accommodations.”
What this means: Section 504 is a civil rights law that requires schools to make “reasonable accommodations” for students with disabilities.
Services might include: Audio textbooks, extended time on tests, behavior management support. 504s do not cover special instruction.

“Your child is recommended for response to intervention (RTI).”
What this means: The school creates a plan to help your child catch up. Your child has no legal right to these services.
Services might include: Small group or one-on-one help, either inside or outside the classroom. Careful monitoring of your child’s progress to determine if more support is needed.

“Your child’s teacher can make informal accommodations.”
What this means: The teacher will make changes in class that may help your child.
Services might include: Seating at the front of the room, allowing him to borrow notes from another student, study guides.

“Further evaluation is needed.”
What this means: The school will do more testing to better understand your child’s needs.
Services might include: Extra testing. If services are needed, the school will have a clearer idea of the support it must provide.
Graphic of What You Might Hear From School After an Evaluation
Graphic of What You Might Hear From School After an Evaluation

About the Author

Portrait of Peg Rosen

Peg Rosen writes for digital and print, including ParentCenter, WebMD, Parents, Good Housekeeping and Martha Stewart.

Reviewed by

Portrait of Barbara Hubert

Barbara Hubert, M.S.Ed., an adjunct instructor at Hunter College, teaches grad students how to create supportive, accessible, inclusive classrooms.

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