Evaluation and Assessment
Evaluation is defined as the "procedures used by appropriate qualified personnel to determine a child's initial and continuing eligibility, consistent with the state definition of infants and toddlers with disabilities".
Assessment is defined as "the ongoing procedures used by qualified personnel to identify the child's unique strengths and needs and the services appropriate to meet those needs and includes the assessment of the child and the assessment of the child's family."
A family-directed assessment is conducted to identify the resources, priorities, concerns and the supports, and services necessary to enhance the family's capacity to meet the needs of their child. Qualified personnel must use informed clinical opinion and multiple procedures when conducting evaluations and assessments.
While a "child's medical or other records may be used to establish eligibility (if those records indicate that the child's level of functioning in one or more of the developmental areas constitutes a developmental delay or that the child otherwise meets the criteria for an infant or toddler with a disability)", an assessment still must be conducted.
- 34 CFR §303.321 — Evaluation of the child and assessment of the child and family
- 34 CFR §303.322 — Determination that a child is not eligible
- 34 CFR §303.420(a) — Parental consent and ability to decline services
The Code of Federal Regulations (34 CFR §300.15) defines evaluation as the procedures used in accordance with 34 CFR §§300.304–300.311 to determine whether a child has a disability and the nature and extent of the special education and related services that the child needs.Evaluation and assessment are not defined as separate processes. For further information, see:
- 34 CFR §300.300 — Parental Consent
- 34 CFR §300.301 — Initial Evaluations
- 34 CFR §300.302 — Screening for instructional purposes is not evaluation
- 34 CFR §300.303 — Reevaluations
- 34 CFR §300.304 — Evaluation Procedures
- 34 CFR §300.305 — Additional requirements for evaluations and reevaluations
- 34 CFR §300.306 — Determination of eligibility
Evaluation and Assessment Resources
- Practice Improvement Tools: Assessment
- Early Childhood Recommended Practice Modules (RPMs) — Module 7: Assessment
- Remote Screening, Evaluation, and Assessment