What does an evaluation consist of?

  • What is a Multidisciplinary Evaluation (MDE)?
    A Multidisciplinary Evaluation (MDE) is a process of evaluating a child’s educational strengths and needs.  A team of people, including the parent, gather data to look at the child's functioning. Your child will be evaluated to determine if he or she is eligible for Special Education supports under one of the 13 disability categories as defined by the PA Department of Education.  These disability categories include Autism, Deaf-Blindness, Deafness, Emotional Disturbance, Hearing Impairment, Mental Retardation, Multiple Disabilities, Orthopedic Impairment, Other Health Impairment, Specific Learning Disability, Speech and Language Impairment, Traumatic Brain Injury, and Visual Impairment including Blindness.  A School Psychologist is required in all of the evaluations except those for Deaf-Blindness, Hearing Impaired, Speech and Language Impairment, Visual Impairment, and Orthopedic Impairment.  For all other evaluations, a School Psychologist is a required member of the MDE Team.
    What tests will be used in my child’s evaluation?
    If your child is being referred for an MDE to determine his or her eligibility for Special Education services because of difficulties with academics, social skills, language processing and behavioral difficulties, a variety of assessments are used to evaluate whether or not your child has a disability according to the PA Department of Education Standards for Special Education.  All of the tests are individually-administered.  Your child’s performance will be compared to other children his or her age and/or grade from the standardization group. 
    How long does the MDE take to complete?
    Once the school district receives your signed Consent to Evaluate, the district then has 60 calendar days (including weekends and holiday breaks but NOT summer) to collect data, evaluate your child, and provide a report to you.  Information will be collected from you as parents, your child’s teacher(s), other support staff involved with your child, and from individual evaluations conducted by the School Psychologist.  This evaluation is called a Multidisciplinary Evaluation because information is collected from many different people that work with your child.  Once all the information is gathered and individual assessments are completed, you will then be provided a copy of the Evaluation Report (ER), which is a summary of all the data and information collected.
     What can I expect once the evaluation is completed and I receive a copy of the Evaluation Report (ER)?
    After the district completes the MDE, we will be in touch to discuss the results of the evaluation and/or schedule a meeting to review the results of the evaluation.  If your child has been found to be eligible for Special Education services through the MDE, we will also hold an Individualized Education Program (IEP) meeting.  This meeting may or may not occur at the same meeting when the results of the MDE are discussed.  At the IEP meeting, we will discuss your child’s educational strengths and needs and determine the most appropriate educational services needed for your child to make adequate educational progress.