Step 4 Evaluation

Your school district or special education cooperative representative will contact you about participating in a Domain Review after your Transition Planning Conference. The purpose of a Domain Review is to figure out if additional information is needed before your IEP team can determine if your child is eligible for Early Childhood Special Education services. The domain form is used to keep track of the Domain Review. This form can be filled out at a meeting that you attend with other IEP team members. It may also be filled out by your child's IEP team, and one team member will review the form with you. The domain form is also called the Identification of Needed Assessments form.

Even though you and your child received services through Early Intervention, there is no automatic eligibility for Early Childhood Special Education services. You will be involved in helping the school district or special education cooperative gather needed information to help determine if your child is eligible.

It is very helpful to share what you know about your child with other IEP team members. You know your child best. You know what your child has learned already. You know what your child likes and dislikes and how your child likes to play. The Parent Page: Things I Want You to Know About My Child that you completed on page 15 can be used again as a helpful planning tool for the evaluation process.


The ideas and information you share are part of the Domain Review Process. You will have the opportunity to ask questions about what others have included on the form.

Using the completed domain form, your child's IEP team needs to be able to answer these four questions:

  1. Does your child have a disability?
  2. What are your child's present levels of academic achievement and functional performance?
  3. Does your child's disability have an adverse affect on your child's ability to participate in and benefit from age-appropriate activities?
  4. Does your child need special education and related services?

If your child's IEP team, including you, has enough information to answer all of these questions after the Domain Review, your child does not need additional evaluations. However, if your child's IEP team cannot answer all four questions, the team will decide what additional evaluations are needed to help determine eligibility and plan for your child's education.

School districts cannot evaluate your child without your informed, written consent. Before you give your consent, make sure that you understand the five W's of evaluation:

  • Why are these evaluations needed?
  • Who will do the evaluations and how will the evaluations be completed?
  • What information will be gathered through the evaluations?
  • Where will the evaluations be done?
  • When will the evaluations be scheduled and completed?

During the Evaluation

When you sign consent, your child's evaluation process will continue. The evaluation is individualized for your child. Evaluations can be conducted by one person or a team of professionals, at your home, preschool or school district. You can ask where and how your child will be evaluated.

You may be asked to share information through an interview or as part of a questionnaire. The questions may be about your child's birth and medical history, developmental milestones and progress, and home and family environments.

As you can see, the evaluation process brings together different types of information about your child. Your input is an important part of your child's evaluation. The purpose of the evaluation process is to help members of your child's IEP team paint a complete picture of your child.

Informed Consent Means:

You have been fully informed about why your consent is needed in your native language or other mode of communication.

You understand and agree in writing to the activity that has been described to you.

You understand that your consent is voluntary and can be revoked at anytime.

Source: IDEA, 2004, 34CFR Section 300.9

Remember, you know your child best. If there is anything that you do not understand,

ask ask ask QUESTIONS!

The more you understand, the better you will feel about making decisions as an active member of your child's IEP team.

Your child's IEP team will be involved in the evaluation process. The IEP team members include:

  • YOU!
  • A regular education teacher
  • A special education teacher
  • A representative from your school district
  • Someone who is qualified to interpret the instructional implications
  • of evaluation results
  • Other individuals who have knowledge or special expertise regarding
  • your child, including related service professionals
  • Your child, whenever appropriate

Source: IDEA, 2004, 34CFR Section 300.305

Parent-to-Parent Tips and Strategies:

  • Ask for a copy of all evaluation reports.
  • Ask someone from the IEP team to talk about the results with you.
  • Take time to read the evaluation reports before the IEP meeting.
  • Discuss the evaluation reports with your spouse, partner or other family members.
  • Discuss the evaluation reports with your EI providers or others that are important in your child's life.
  • Make sure the results reflect an accurate picture of your child.
  • Write down any questions or comments you have regarding the reports.
  • Bring your copy of the evaluation reports with you to the IEP meeting.
  • Read more about the evaluation process in A Parent's Guide: The Educational Rights of Students with Disabilities (

Parent Checklist

I participated in a domain meeting and/or I reviewed the form on: (Checkbox and Line for answer)

I signed the form giving consent for my child to be evaluated: (Checkbox and Line for answer)

My child's evaluations were scheduled for: (Checkbox and Line for answer)

My child's evaluations were completed on: (Checkbox and Line for answer)

I reviewed the results of evaluations or someone reviewed the results with me on: (Checkbox and Line for answer)

The date for the IEP meeting is: (Checkbox and Line for answer)

"We were not sure if our district would provide the services we thought our son needed. Everyone was on the same page, and Nathan received everything we wanted. Our advice to other parents would be to read about your child's disability and about your rights. Also, talk to other parents, your therapists and the people at your district."
-Nathan's mother