S E A R C H   
IFSP Tutorial - Evaluation and Assessment

Planning with Families for Evaluation and Assessment:

Essential Content of Planning with Families

Page 11 of 13

Questions a family may have about evaluation and assessment

The following are typical concerns families voice related to evaluation and assessment:

  • I don't want my child labeled
  • I just want my child to learn to walk and talk like other children
  • I/we want more information about what is happening with our child, understanding what his/her diagnosis means, how to help our child, what early intervention services/supports are available for our family
  • What will happen during my child's evaluation? What will the early intervention evaluator's find out?
  • What will this cost, and is it covered by any health plan I may have?
  • How soon can we schedule the evaluation and assessment, and will I/we have to miss work?
  • Will my/our other children be welcome during the evaluation and assessment?
  • How soon will I/we find out if my child qualifies for early intervention?
  • Will I/we get a written report, and who else will see this information?
  • What if my child doesn't qualify for early intervention?

Family concerns and questions about the evaluation and assessment process vary according to their:

  • Familiarity with the Part C early intervention program. Some families may have a friend, neighbor or family member with a child who participates in an infants and toddlers program. Sometimes referrals come from child care providers who are already caring for a child in the program, or who work in coordinating agencies such as Early Head Start or a local pediatrician's office. If a family has participated in early intervention with another child, it is helpful to find out where, and how the evaluation and assessment process was conducted.



During a planning conversation with Yusef’s mother, Mayra learned that his 8 year old brother, Ahmed, had received early intervention in another state. Since the parents were familiar with early intervention, Mayra concentrated on explaining the family supports and services available in Maryland.

Yusef's Story


  • Level of concern about a child's functioning. Parents who are worried about their child may react in varying ways. Some parents may have many questions, and will want to know exactly when, where and how the evaluation and assessment will take place. Other parents may be so involved caring for their child that they just want to know what the next step is in order to start early intervention. Some families, particularly if encouraged by someone else to make the referral contact, may not recognize a child has delayed development, or that a particular diagnosis may result in delays, and therefore have very few questions, or may be guarded about agreeing to an evaluation/assessment. Whatever a family's level of concern appears to be during initial conversations with early intervention providers, keep in mind the typical concerns identified above that other families have expressed.



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