Special Needs

Help with Sch. Dist. Eval -- Auntie and others?

We're in the midst of having DS evaluated to see if he qualifies for the school district's early special needs preschool.  We just had an in-center evaluation with a study team -- a SLP, OT, PT, and one other person whose specialty I forget.  We're also scheduled to have a home visit with a social worker.  During the in-center evaluation, the team said they were really surprised that we were not scheduled for a in-daycare observation, since that is normal procedure.  They then said this was probably because the person who set up our evaluations doesn't usually do that job, and just made a mistake.  They had us sign a consent for a daycare observation, and I gave them contact info for the center.  I just got a letter today with a form for his teachers to fill out (which I am fine with), and a "Preschool Observation" form that they have instructed me to have the director of the daycare center fill out. 

This just does not seem right to me.  The form notes at the top that "[t]his is an observation of student performance by a team member other than the student's teacher."  As far as I know, the day care director is not a member of the team determining if he qualifies for services.  And while I really like her, I don't think she is the person to do this observation since she doesn't have a special ed background.  I really want them to send someone out who has experience doing these types of evals.

Am I out of line?  What is the norm for an education observation?  Am I within my rights to insist that they send a qualified person out?  In a school setting, would they just send the principal?  Since they messed things up before, I just don't have faith right now that they are following procedures.

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Re: Help with Sch. Dist. Eval -- Auntie and others?

  • For this evaluation, I was asked several times if there was any sort of daycare or preschool or even group therapy session that they could observe. Our team (OT, SLP, Psych, Special Ed) would have sent a member of the TEAM to do this ...as they did to my home both during a therapy session & just a plain home observation. 

    Im wondering.... do they want the teacher(s) to fill out their form, the director to fill out an observation, AND maybe they are sending out one of the IEP team (im assuming this is an IEP team for public preschool services??)  to observe as well??? Maybe use this question to call them back and clarify - and make an opportunity to let them know that the director doesn't know him well enough by any means to fill this form out if a member of the team isn't going to observe. 

    That doesn't sound right to me....but we didn't actually do this part since he wasn't part of any group.

    I hope you get what you need. I had to advocate for extra observation because they were telling me he 'wasnt severe enough for services' and the only observation was by the psychologist (in home). I asked for the speech and spec ed to both come out and they did and they got what they needed to finish his IEP with positive results.

    Don't settle! You're doing a great job! 

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  • DS isn't in DC, so I have no experience with DC observation.  But I'm with you, doesn't sound right.  I agree with Breezy, I'd call to make sure the observations being done by the DC providers are in addition to a trained professional coming out. 

    I've had alot of issues with DS's school so I am really careful about observations/reports, if I don't agree with anything I am very vocal about it and refuse to sign if necessary.

    DS - June 2006 DD1 - November 2007 DD2 - August 2010
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  • I agree-that doesn't sound right.  In any experience I've had with kiddos of mine who have had evals for SN preschool, any observation done (whether at daycare, another preschool, or whatever) was done by a member of the eval team (speech, OT, PT, psych, special ed, etc.).  I would contact them and clarify that a member of the eval team will be the one actually observing your DS...and if that's not the case, firmly request that they send someone from the team as opposed to the daycare director and find out WHY they'd want someone who's not on the team that's making the decision re: his possibly qualifying for services doing the observation.
  • When I got my son evaluated through the school district (no longer in EI), the psych went to his pre-school and observed.  She did ask the teacher many questions but she sat in the class herself for the observation (I wanted him qualifed for articulation in speech and we were having a hard time but we got it!).  Keep pushing as much as you can. 
  • Typically a teacher report is a required piece of an evaluation.  If a child is in any type of school setting, including preschool, a teacher must be a part of the evaluation.  Their part is usually minimal, just filling out the teacher report, but don't assume that another member of the team isn't doing their own observation.  It is assumed that the preschool teacher can provide better information since they work with the child on a day to day basis and we see children for a short period of time for an evaluation.   I am sure that the director will work with the actual teacher to fill out the form.
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