After you give consent to the school for referral of your child to a resource teacher or clinician, an assessment plan will be developed. Parents can be involved in the assessment process in various ways.
How an Assessment Is Carried Out
Depending on your child’s needs, a number of specialists may be involved in the assessment plan.These specialists could include a resource teacher, reading clinician,speech-language pathologist, psychologist, occupational therapist, or others. Different professionals are qualified to assess different areas of your child’s development. For example, a psychologist assesses a child’s cognitive ability or potential. A classroom teacher or resource teacher can assess children’s learning skills or how they learn. Talk to your child’s classroom teacher about who will assess what. A variety of assessment tools may be used to determine a child’s learning/cognitive, social, emotional, communication, and/or behavioural development or needs. Some assessment tools include both parents and teachers to ensure that the information gathered accurately reflects the child.
An assessment may be done for the following reasons:
- To find out whether your child has a special learning need.
- To identify your child’s current capabilities, skills, and needs.
- To find out how those special learning needs affect your child’s ability to learn and function in school.
- To identify appropriate programming and services that will meet your child’s individual needs.
Your child’s development may be assessed in one area, or in various combinations of areas, depending on his or her specific needs.
When all the assessment results for your child are completed, the school will contact you and arrange a meeting with the staff who participated in the assessment to explain the results, discuss the recommendations, and involve you in making any related decisions. A written report may be shared with you, the teacher, and/or others working with your child.
If you are concerned about how long an assessment may take, discuss your concerns with your child’s teacher or the school principal. The school works with the student services personnel to identify clinical services and supports required. The clinical staff assigned to a school will review the referrals they receive and prioritize their involvement according to need or urgency. Check with your child’s teacher about the timeline for your child’s assessment.