The federal regulations for Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) includes many provisions to protect the rights of parents and their child with a disability while also giving families and school systems means by which to resolve disputes. These rights are known as procedural safeguards. In this section, the concept of initial evaluation or multi-factored evaluation will be discussed.
Before a child may receive any special education services, a full and individual initial evaluation must be conducted. This evaluation must consist of various procedures in order to find if the child has a disability and to determine the educational needs of the child. In this process, the child has the right to:
• be tested in such a manner that results are not affected by race or culture;
• be tested in his/her native language or other mode of communication, unless it is not
feasible to do so;
• be tested with validated tests used in a manner consistent with their purpose;
• be tested by trained personnel in accordance with test instructions;
• be tested with procedures with any instructions provided by the maker of such tests;
• have tests selected and administered in a way that ensures that when a test is given
what the child has learned and not the degree of impairment is assessed (unless determining the level of impairment is the purpose of the test):
• have his or her educational program determined on the basis of more than one test or
• be evaluated by a group of knowledgeable persons, including at least one teacher or
specialist who is knowledgeable about the type of problem your child is suspected to
• be tested in all areas related to his or her suspected problem;
• be evaluated with a variety of assessment tools and strategies to gather relevant
functional and developmental information, including information provided by you, that
may assist in determining whether he/she is a child with a disability and in determining
the educational needs. This includes information related to enabling doe your child to be
involved in and progress in the general curriculum or, for preschool children, to
participate in appropriate activities;
• be evaluated with technically sound instruments that may assess the cognitive and behavioral factors, in addition to physical or developmental factors.
Determining whether or not a child has a disability is extremely important for a child's educational growth. Through the use of proper assessments and remediation in special education, each child with a disability may achieve their true potential.