What happens after the evaluations are completed?
Within 30 calendar days of completing the full initial and independent evaluation, the ARD committee (which includes you) will meet to discuss the report and make decisions.
At this point your child should have been evaluated by all the necessary evaluators. Each evaluator will write a report. This written report should include evaluator observations, activities presented, names of assessment tools used, test scores, a parent interview, and service recommendations.
The school district must give you a copy of this written report.
Tip: It is strongly recommended that you obtain a copy of the evaluation report BEFORE the ARD meeting. This will allow you to carefully review the evaluation report and prepare questions and comments ahead of time.
While reviewing the reports, it would be helpful to keep the following questions in mind for yourself and the school:
- Do the evaluation and its results make sense to me?
- What do the scores mean?
- What is my child doing well; where is my child having trouble?
- What is causing the trouble, what kind of help does my child need?
- What are my choices?
- Who can help me understand the evaluations?
Many times, evaluation reports may only report the test scores. This is a good time to ask the evaluator to explain in the report how your child performed. For example, if the test involved a timed writing and your child has difficulty forming letters or usually uses assistive technology (which may not be allowed per the test instructions) that would be something to note in the report. Maybe your child will not sit or cannot follow instructions; this would be good to note in the report. You may also want to ask the evaluator to explain the terms used in the test. This way it will be easier for you to understand the evaluation report.
For help in understanding the test scores, meet or talk with the diagnostician and/or evaluation team. The diagnostician and evaluation team can best help you understand the evaluations. You may also want to talk to other parents or professionals you are comfortable talking to. Organizations and websites for parents of children with disabilities can also help.
Keep all assessment reports in a notebook or file so that you can refer back to it often. All ARD Committee decisions for your child should be based on current evaluation data, so it is critical that this information is accurate and up-to-date.