Step 2: The Evaluation Process

Once the CSE office receives your referral letter, the CPSE should immediately send you a packet including a notice that the referral was received, a list of approved preschool special education evaluation agencies in NYC, a “consent for initial evaluation” form (also called a C-1P letter), and information about your rights. The CPSE will also assign a CPSE administrator who will be your contact person throughout the process. If you do not receive this packet within a week after sending the referral, you should call the CSE office for help. Once you receive the packet, you should set up an evaluation of your child. 

How do I arrange the evaluation? 

You have the right to choose an evaluation agency from a list of agencies approved by the state. All About Kids is an approved Preschool Special Education Program evaluation provider. The evaluations will be done at no cost to you. 

If your child’s preferred language is a language other than English, your child should receive a bilingual evaluation. The evaluation will be conducted both in English and in your child’s home language by professionals who understand both languages.

At your first appointment with an agency, you will be asked to sign the consent (C-1P) form agreeing for the agency to evaluate your child. The DOE must hold an Individualized Education Program (IEP) meeting within 60 calendar days from the date you sign the consent form. Since this timeline does not start until you sign the consent form, it is important to schedule your first evaluation appointment as soon as possible. 

What does it mean to consent for evaluations? 

You must give permission in writing before the evaluation agency can evaluate your child. This is called informed consent. Informed consent means that the agency has fully informed you, in your preferred language, of all relevant information and rights. Your consent must be voluntary and in writing and can be revoked (taken back) at any time. If you as a parent do not consent to evaluations, special education evaluations cannot begin, and the CPSE will take no further action. 

By consenting to evaluations, you are not consenting to special education services. You can have your child evaluated and choose not to have your child receive special education services. 

You have the right to end the evaluation process at any time by writing to the CPSE and informing them that you wish to revoke your consent to evaluate your child. Once you choose to stop the evaluation, your child’s CPSE case will be closed automatically. 

What evaluations will my child receive? 

Before the evaluation begins, the evaluation agency should give you information about the types of tests that can be conducted and ask for your input. If you have concerns about a particular area of your child’s development, such as speech and language or physical development, you should let the agency know and request an evaluation in that area.

If your child is being evaluated for the first time, the agency will conduct an initial set of evaluations that will include: 

  • Psychological evaluation (IQ and academic testing);
  • Social history (an interview with parent to learn about the family and child);
  • Physical evaluation (a medical form that families often have their doctor complete);
  • Observation of your child.

Other possible evaluations include:

  • Speech and language evaluation
  • Physical/occupational evaluation to assess motor (movement) development
  • Functional Behavioral Assessment if your child’s behavior interferes with learning
  • Auditory processing evaluation
  • Hearing or vision exam

Can I submit an evaluation from a private doctor or evaluator? 

Yes, the CPSE must consider all information about your child, including information you provide. If you have evaluations from a private doctor or evaluator that you would like the CPSE to review, you should show them to the evaluation agency and send them to your CPSE administrator. If your child receives Early Intervention (EI) services, with your permission, your EI service coordinator should send EI evaluations and records to the CPSE. The CPSE will sometimes accept private evaluations or recent EI evaluations instead of having an evaluation agency conduct new evaluations. Other times, the CPSE will decide that the evaluations you provide are not sufficient and will still have an evaluation agency conduct new evaluations. Either way, the CSPE must consider any material you provide. 

What happens after my child has been evaluated?

After your child has been evaluated, the evaluations will be given to your child’s CPSE administrator, who will review the evaluations and schedule an IEP meeting. You should receive copies of all evaluations along with a summary report in your preferred language. If your IEP meeting has been scheduled and you have not received copies of the evaluation and a summary report, you should ask your CPSE administrator and evaluation agency for a copy so that you can review the evaluations before the meeting. 

Information provided by Advocates for Children of New York

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