Yeled v’Yalda’s multidisciplinary team of specialists consists of monolingual and bilingual evaluators who address all realms of childhood development, including speech and language, physical, cognitive, and behavioral domains. We provide evaluations for children ages 0-3 through our EI (Early Intervention) services, and for children ages 3-5 through our CPSE (Committee on Preschool Special Education) program. Our qualified service coordinators guide families throughout the entire evaluation process, providing ongoing information, support, and assistance.
Our multidisciplinary evaluations are conducted through a combination of methods, including parent interview, informal observation in the home or classroom, formal clinical assessment, and specialized standardized testing. All facets of a child’s development are assessed, and clinical recommendations and detailed goals are provided, regarding how to best address any identified developmental concerns. Evaluations consist of various parts, and may include social and health histories; psychological, social-emotional, and cognitive components; and educational, speech, hearing, occupational, and physical assessments.
Once a child’s evaluations are completed, our service coordinators review the results with the family, and oversee the scheduling of all necessary EI (Early Intervention) or CPSE (Committee on Preschool Special Education) meetings. Yeled v’Yalda’s evaluation directors excel in advisory and advocacy skills in accordance with DOE (Department of Education) guidelines, and assist parents by accompanying them to scheduled meetings, and advocating for appropriate services to ensure optimal results for every child and family.
The social history parent interview is the first step in the evaluation process, and is generally performed by a social worker, in the family’s home. Interviews are conducted in the language that the parents are most comfortable with, with translators provided when necessary. During the interview, detailed information is collected from the parents, including their concerns and reasons for seeking an evaluation; the child’s birth history and early developmental information; and the child’s medical and family history. The goal of the social history interview is to compile relevant background data so that the individual evaluators will have all of the necessary information pertinent to the child’s overall medical and developmental profile. The social history will include information regarding the child’s environment, such as family composition, family interactions, and the child’s behavior and relationships within the family. During the social history interview, the details of the evaluation process are explained to parents, consent to conduct all evaluations is obtained, and parents have an opportunity to ask questions and share concerns. Yeled v’Yalda values parent involvement and participation throughout the entire evaluation process; parents receive written copies of all evaluations performed, have the opportunity to participate in all discussion and decision-making processes regarding services to be provided, and have the right to due process and mediation if necessary.
Psychological evaluations are typically done by a school psychologist, and assess a child’s current level of functioning in areas of cognitive, developmental, behavioral, adaptive, and social-emotional skills. Evaluators look at factors such as general intelligence and mental function, social and emotional development, learning strengths and weaknesses, and personality and behavioral traits. Informal observation, parent and teacher interviews, and standardized testing are done to assess the child’s cognitive functioning (such as reasoning, problem-solving, and memory); adaptive skills (such as communication, motor, and self-help abilities); and social-emotional development (such as establishing relationships, personality, and behavior).
Educational evaluations assess a range of areas which contribute to a child’s overall ability to learn. They are conducted by education specialists and are required by the Department of Education to be conducted in the child’s preschool or day care setting. Educational evaluations include components such as a clinical observation in the classroom environment, a parent interview, a teacher interview, and a formal assessment of the five main areas of child development (cognitive, language, physical, social-emotional, and adaptive skills). Based on the child’s performance on the formalized testing and clinical observations, as well as on the information gathered in the parent and teacher interviews, the educational evaluator will recommend additional assessments to be performed (such as speech, occupational, or physical therapy evaluations). The educational evaluator then compiles all necessary information and submits requests for these assessments to the Department of Education, which either approves or denies the additional testing.
Speech and language evaluations are performed by licensed speech language pathologists and assess a wide range of skills pertaining to children’s language and communication abilities, as well as to their oral motor and feeding function. The speech-language clinician gathers information through informal measures (such as eliciting impressions and concerns from parents and teachers, and speaking and playing with the child), as well as formal measures (direct standardized testing). A wide range of skills are assessed, including the child’s development of language “form” (sounds, sound combinations, and sentence formation); language semantics or “function” (meanings of words and sentences); and language pragmatics or “use” (how language is applied to share information and communicate successfully with others). Speech evaluations also examine a variety of factors that affect speech production, such as articulation, voice quality, fluency, and oral motor development (strength and range of motion of the lips, tongue, and jaw), as well as feeding skills. A hearing evaluation may be recommended if there are any concerns or indications of a hearing loss.
Occupational Therapy Evaluation
Occupational therapy evaluations are conducted by a licensed occupational therapist based on concerns regarding a child’s fine motor or sensory integration skills. Fine motor skills involve the small muscle movements required to use the fingers, hands, and wrists, and coordinating them with eye movement. Fine motor skills involve abilities such as picking up, reaching, grasping, and releasing. Occupational therapy evaluations assess issues such as range of motion; postural control and stability; balance, muscle tone and strength; fine motor skills; sensory processing and sensory integration; and vestibular, auditory, olfactory, visual, and tactile processing
Physical Therapy Evaluation
A physical therapy evaluation is conducted by a licensed physical therapist to address concerns regarding a child’s gross motor skills, which are controlled by the larger muscles in the arms, legs, and upper body and torso. Gross motor activities include actions such as walking, running, throwing, and kicking. Gross motor skills also refer to issues such as body awareness and overall strength and balance. A comprehensive physical therapy evaluation looks at issues such as range of motion, protective reflexes, balance and equilibrium, muscle tone and strength, posture and gait, and gross motor abilities.
HOW TO QUALIFY
Evaluation services are DOE funded and free of charge for Preschoolers (ages 3-5) who present with developmental concerns in cognition, language, motor, sensory or social emotional domains.
HOW TO ENROLL (CPSE)
CPSE (Committee on Preschool Special Education) evaluation services are funded by the DOE (Department of Education) and are free of charge for preschoolers ages 3-5, who present with developmental concerns in cognition, language, motor, sensory, or social-emotional domains.
CPSE stands for Committee on Preschool Special Education. This is the department in the DOE (Department of Education) that deals with preschool-age services for children ages 3-5.
Children between the ages of 2.6 to 5 years old can be evaluated through CPSE to receive services.
The entire process takes approximately 6 weeks. Initially, it takes about 2 weeks to get consent from the DOE to perform the evaluations. It then takes approximately 4 weeks for all of the evaluations to be completed. The DOE then schedules an initial CPSE meeting to discuss results and determine services.
IEP stands for Individualized Education Program. This is a multi-sectioned document that details the services the child was approved for. It includes summaries of evaluation scores and results, and lists the goals and objectives that therapists will work on with your child.
To initiate, carry out, and complete the evaluation process, Yeled v’Yalda will need to send you forms through Adobe Sign which requires you to access an email account. If it is not possible for you to access an email account, papers can be signed in person at our office or by mail, but this may hold up the evaluation process.
Evaluations generally take place either in school or at home. Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, parents have the right to choose whether they would prefer that evaluations be conducted in person or via zoom meeting.
Evaluators will first calculate standardized testing scores and write up a full and comprehensive report. They will then contact you with feedback regarding your child’s results and performance.
No. The evaluator does not approve services or determine service frequency. All approvals for services will be made by your DOE district administrator at the CPSE meeting.
Within 2-3 weeks of receiving the results of your child’s evaluations, your DOE administrator will schedule an initial meeting. At that meeting, a recommendation will be made based on the evaluation findings. Evaluations describe your child’s level of performance compared to other children of their age. The DOE requires a 25% delay in at least two areas of development, or a 33% delay in one area of development, in order for a child to qualify for services. If your child does not meet DOE criteria for services, they will be classified as “non-handicapped” and their case will be closed.
Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, meetings are currently conducted via phone conference. A parent, a teacher, a representative from Yeled v’Yalda, and a DOE administrator typically participate in the phone conference. The day before the scheduled phone conference, a Yeled v’Yalda representative will call parents to confirm the meeting, review evaluation results, and discuss questions and concerns.
If your child is not approved for services, you might consider checking with your insurance provider to see if they provide any therapy coverage. In addition, if concerns persist, your child will be eligible for a re-evaluation one year from the original evaluation date.
No, the DOE (Department of Education) pays for these evaluations.
Suggested services are not mandatory, and parents may decline any services that they are not in agreement with. In addition, if a parent feels that their child’s needs are not being adequately met by CPSE recommendations, they can challenge the results of the meeting and use due process rights to request a fair hearing.