If an evaluation is needed, a team which includes the parents (In Connecticut this is called a Planning and Placement Team, PPT) will meet to share information about the child’s development and school performance. This evaluation is free to families. Parents or caregivers must give informed consent (written consent) before the child is evaluated for the first time to see if the child is eligible for special education.
There are rules that protect the child in an evaluation. An evaluation must be able to identify all of the child’s special education and related service needs, and must be conducted in a fair way. All tests must be given in the language or form of communication that the child is most comfortable, unless it is not possible to do so. Evaluations must also include all areas related to the mental health issue or disability, such as: health, vision, hearing, social and emotional status and general intelligence, academic performance, communication skills, and motor skills.
In Connecticut, for children over three and younger than 21, the school district has 45 school days to complete the evaluation process and determine whether or not a child is eligible for special education services. This 45-day timeline starts when a written referral is received by school personnel.
Parents and caregivers may also disagree with the decision of an evaluation and ask for a review.