If you are concerned about your child’s learning or development, the evaluation process is a beginning step to help you better understand your child, as well as to find appropriate interventions and services. Your child might be eligible for an Individualized Education Program (IEP) at school that that specifies how your child’s teachers will help him/her achieve specific goals. Depending on your child’s needs, services outside of school may also be helpful.
Evaluations can also be useful for individuals with existing diagnoses to ensure that school plans and/or community supports reflect current strengths and needs.
Autism Spectrum Disorder, including early diagnosis for young children
College Transition evaluations for students planning to request disability support services
A note about bilingual assessment
If your child regularly uses two languages at home or is enrolled in a bilingual program at school, any evaluation should allow for the use of both languages. When assessing for a learning or developmental disability, it is very important that the characteristics of that disability be present in both languages.
Bilingual evaluations are completed using tests that have been developed specifically to assess the cognitive and academic functioning of bilingual children. Most of these tests are designed for use in Spanish and English. There are fewer choices for the assessment of children who speak other languages; however, a psychologist with training in bilingual assessment can structure the evaluation to get the most accurate information possible about the child and avoid confusing the normal process of second language acquisition with a learning or developmental disability.