STEP 2: CONSENT AND INITIAL EVALUATION PLANNING
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For each learner suspected of having a disability, the AEA (or the AEA in conjunction with the LEA) must seek to obtain informed parental consent for initial evaluation. A parent may consent or decline the evaluation.
Planning Comprehensive Evaluation
The evaluation team must ensure that the learner is assessed in all areas related to the suspected disability and that the evaluation is sufficiently comprehensive to identify all of the learner’s special education and related services needs, whether or not commonly linked to a particular disability or performance domain.
Comprehensive evaluations must:
- consider collecting information to design interventions intended to resolve the presenting problem, behaviors of concern, or suspected disability;
- consider the assessment or evaluation of health, vision, hearing, social and emotional status, general intelligence, academic performance, communicative status, adaptive behavior, and motor abilities;
- inform and involve the team (including the parent) in determining the performance domain to be evaluated; and
- for preschool-age children, include sufficient information to address the early childhood outcome areas.
Specific Evaluation Considerations for Health, Hearing/Vision, and Physical Domains
The performance domains of health, hearing/vision, and physical have a direct impact on a learner’s access to and participation in educational settings and opportunities.
- the ability to physically or virtually reach, enter and maintain a presence within educational settings, including educational settings that provide nonacademic and extracurricular opportunities; and
- the ability to utilize the resources and opportunities in educational settings.
For example, a child may:
- have a hearing loss significant enough to warrant classroom amplification in order to hear the instruction.
- require a wheelchair and physical assistance to travel from one location in the school setting to another due to physical limitations.
- need accessible educational materials because of a vision loss.
In planning the evaluation, the evaluation team will need to determine how the current and/or projected implications of the health/hearing/vision/physical condition(s) affect the learner’s performance and education needs. If the learner’s condition and its effects on access are not potentially alterable (e.g., a persistent vision concern that interferes with accessing print) through general education interventions, the learner may require special education resources to assure access to educational settings and opportunities and maintain acceptable progress.
Explore Step 3 in the Child Find Process
Once parental consent has been obtained and a plan to complete the evaluation is developed, the evaluation team will begin gathering information to complete the initial evaluation.