These are some examples of some of the professional staff who may be involved in an evaluation of a student suspected of being handicapped. Specific areas of concern in your child's evaluation and the staff to be involved will be checked on the consent form, SE 5a.
The school psychologist may evaluate a student in the areas of intelligence, academic achievement and perception using tests and observations. The individual sessions usually lasts two hours during the school day. Upon completion of the assessments, parents and the school personnel involved will be notified of the evaluation results. Psychologists attend building committee (BEST) meetings and often attend Individual Educational Planning Team (IEPT) meetings.
School Social Worker
The school social worker evaluates a student's social and behavioral adjustment. The following are often used in making this determination:
1. Family Interviews
2. Student Conferences
3. Teacher conferences
5. Collection of information and coordination of the service with other agencies if appropriate.
Social workers attend building committee meetings and often attend IEPT meetings.
A teacher primarily evaluates academic achievement and may make observations in the special or regular education settings.
Teacher of the Speech and Language Impaired
A teacher of speech and language impaired evaluates speech and language behavior. Tests to diagnose the problem may be given in the following areas:
- Language Development
The audiologist assesses the student to determine the amount of hearing loss and to determine the effects of this loss on educational progress and speech discrimination.
Orientation and Mobility Specialist
The orientation and mobility specialist assesses the severely visually impaired student to determine his/her ability to move freely within the environment. This specialist also makes recommendations for orientation and mobility training.
The occupational therapist evaluates functions lost or impaired through illness, injury or handicapping condition. The occupational therapist develops plans for the restoration of these functions and/or the prevention of additional loss of function. Examples of areas of evaluation include but are not limited to the following:
• Self-Care Abilities- feeding, dressing, hygiene, toileting, and communication
• Sensory Motor Abilities-sensory integration, perceptual motor, reflex development/integration, readiness and pre-academic abilities, and foundations for sensory motor skills.
• School/Work Skills-practical daily living skills and homemaking skills especially as they may require adaptive methods, energy conservation, joint protection techniques, prevocational skills, adaptive skills, and adaptive play.
• Components of Movement-development of head and trunk control for fine motor and bilateral skills, motor planning and coordination of body parts for purposeful and skilled movement.
• Adaptive Equipment Needs-design, construction, modifications of seating devices, splints and equipment for functional use (i.e. dressing, feeding, eating devices, positions, training in the use of upper extremity prostheses).
The physical therapist evaluates physical abilities lost or impaired through illness, injury or handicapping condition. The physical therapist develops plans for the restoration of these physical abilities and/or the prevention of additional loss of ability. Examples of areas of evaluation include but are not limited to the following:
• Mobility/Gait-weight bearing, balance, use of braces, crutches, walkers, canes, lower extremity prosthesis, and negotiation of stairs, ramps, playground surfaces and playground equipment.
• Transfer Skills-wheelchairs to/from floors, chairs, toilets, cars and beds, standing to/from floors, chairs, beds and the school bus.
• Components of Posture and Movement-development of head and trunk control, coordination, gross motor skills, balance and equilibrium reactions, range of motion, and reflex development.
• Barrier Free Needs
• Assistive Technology Needs
Medical Services Personnel
The medical personnel identified below provide diagnostic information relevant to the presence or absence of a physical or mental disorder or condition. The suspected handicapping condition will determine the medical personnel that may be involved.
Neurologist, Orthopedic Surgeon, Ophthalmologist, Optometrist, Pediatrician, Internist, Psychiatrist, Osteopathic Internist, Otorhinolaryngologist (Ear, Nose, and Throat), Public Health Nurse.