A Special Education evaluation may be recommended by the problem-solving team (PST) if a student has not demonstrated sufficient progress with general education interventions or if the child is suspected of having a disability that impedes his or her learning (children from birth through 5 years of age but are not yet enrolled in Kindergarten are referred by parents or other service providers for a screening conducted by the school district). It is strongly recommended that student concerns begin with the problem-solving process. Parents may request to bypass this process to conduct a special education evaluation. When a student is referred for Special Education evaluation, the first step in the process is obtaining parental consent.  No assessments may be conducted without the parent/guardian's written permission.  Keep in mind that consent for the evaluation is separate from consenting to place a child into a special education program, should the child be found eligible for services.  Your child cannot be placed into special education without obtaining secondary consent for placement, even if you have consented to the evaluation.    

According to Nebraska law, evaluations may take no longer than 60 calendar days from the date written parental consent for evaluation is received by the school district for school-aged children (PreK-12), and no longer than 45 calendar days from the date the referral is made to the school district for children ages birth-3 years of age.  Assessments will be conducted in all areas of suspected disability and may include tests of cognitive ability (IQ assessments), academic performance, social/emotional development, gross/fine motor skills, speech/language, adaptive behavior, and vision/hearing.  A student's school records will be reviewed, classroom observations will be conducted, and parents and teachers may be asked to complete checklists.  Parents are encouraged to share the results of any relevant previous evaluations from physicians, private psychologists, or other related professionals as well.  Once the evaluation is complete, a report is written and parents are asked to attend a Multidisciplinary Team (MDT) meeting.  At the meeting, the assessment results will be presented and a team decision is made whether or not the student qualifies for special education services based on state and federal laws.  Parents are very important members of the MDT and are encouraged to share concerns, questions, and insights that they have regarding the student.

As stated, areas of concern may include behavior, social, academic, articulation (speech sounds), expressive/receptive language, hearing, vision, fine motor, attention, emotional regulation, gross motor, fluency, and/or voice. A descriptive list of the 13 areas of identification in the state of Nebraska can be found under General Information. 

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