October 27, 2011
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Evaluations Form the Foundation of Your Child's Educational Program  

Are you concerned about your child's progress in school?  Does he have trouble focusing or finishing homework independently? 
Evaluations provide essential information about how to address these concerns and help get your child back on the right track.  Evaluations form the foundation of your child's educational program and the basis of the school team's decisions. Therefore it is crucial that they are thorough, appropriate for your child, and meaningful.  

How do evaluations impact my child's education?
Evaluations, standardized assessments and diagnostic testing all provide information that can 1) assist in identifying if a student has a disability, 2) determine the extent of the disability, 3) help develop an individualized educational plan (IEP), and/or 4) revise the current IEP.  This essential information is considered when determining academic progress and revising each IEP component, including educational placements. The curriculum based and IEP goal-based assessments that we create, administer and analyze can help parents understand if their child is making significant progress, and to what extent the child is having meaningful access to the curriculum.  

What type of evaluation are appropriate for my child? 
The Assessment Division of ABCs for Life Success can help you match your concerns with the evaluations that will provide the most meaningful information.  Psychological and academic evaluations generally are required for every suspected disability.  Other evaluations may be recommended depending on your child's needs, such as neuropsychological, speech and language, occupational therapy, and functional behavior assessment.

My child is showing behaviors that are defiant, withdrawn, aggressive and/or disruptive in the classroom which interfere with learning.  Help! 
A functional behavior assessment (FBA) is a data-collection activity that can be a productive and powerful way to identify and analyze behaviors.  An FBA can determine how serious the behavior is, the frequency, location and time of occurrence, and most importantly informs you and you child's team about possible strategies and interventions.  We perform functional behavior assessments that are thorough and truly child centered, which recommend very specific behavior intervention plans for kids with all types of disabilities.

What are our rights as parents with regard to requesting and using evaluations?
Laws pertaining to informed parental consent, timelines, use of evaluations to make decisions, and consideration of private evaluations help protect families and guide this process.  Your ABCs for Life Success consultant can inform you about these rights and more, including when it is advisable to request an independent educational evaluation (IEE) at public expense.  

Visit our website for more information on diagnostic testing and academic evaluations.  See also our Special Needs Advocacy Resource Book, and School Success for Kids with Emotional and Behavioral Disorders 

 evalsvcsHow do I get started?

If you have concerns about your child's progress in school, contact us by email or phone (301-593-5166) to discuss what steps may be appropriate to take.  You will be connected with one of our expert consultants for a free initial consultation.      

nextmonthComing up...


Next month's newsletter will focus on Stage 4 of the IEP Process, Eligibility Determination, including the difference between diagnoses and disabilities, special education services defined, and how eligibility is determined.      


Past newsletters are available on our website; please let us know if you would like hard copies.   

In This Issue


The ABC for Life Success Team


Michelle Davis, M. Ed

Eric Levine, Ed. D.

Amy Mounce, MA, M. Ed.

Revanette Gilmore, M. Ed.

Paul Livelli, Ph. D.

Gretchen Holtzinger Levine

Nina Hagan, MAT

Kelly Diamond


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