Early Childhood Evaluations
What should I do if I am worried about my child’s development?
If you live in the MSD of Decatur Township and your child is between the ages of 3 and 5 (but not yet in Kindergarten) you can call the Early Childhood Assessment Team to make a referral at 317-243-7559. We will ask you a few questions about your concerns and your child's development, and then schedule a free developmental screening with someone from our team to gather additional information. During the screening we will assess different skills related to your child's language, motor, and concept development - as well as social interactions, behavior, and articulation skills. After the screening, we will let you know in which areas your child is meeting developmental expectations and /or demonstrating a potential delay. If a potential delay is identified in one or more areas of development, your child may benefit from an early childhood evaluation with a multidisciplinary team of early childhood specialists to help create an appropriate educational plan.
If your child is under the age of 3, he or she may be eligible for early intervention services through First Steps of Central Indiana. To find out more about their services, please call 317-257-2229.
What is an early childhood evaluation?
Our evaluation process is typically 2 hours long, and includes 2-3 students at a time participating in activities such as listening to a story, coloring, and lots of playing! Please plan to stay for the evaluation with your child to help them feel comfortable, and to give the team additional information about your child. The evaluation team will consist of a preschool special education teacher, speech-language therapist, and school psychologist; and may also include additional professionals (such as an occupational therapist, physical therapist, nurse, vision or hearing specialist) as indicated by your child's specific needs. Information will be collected by observing your child, direct testing, and parent interviews and/or developmental checklists.
Following the evaluation, a case conference will be scheduled to review evaluation results with you and discuss eligibility criteria for special education services in preschool. If your child qualifies for school-based services, we will also discuss his or her Individualized Education Plan (IEP) and tell you more about our great preschool program at Liberty. Your child is welcome attend with you, but is not needed for this meeting.
If my child qualifies for an IEP, where will they receive services?
If your family lives in the MSD of Decatur Township district boundaries and your child is eligible for preschool special education services (including speech/language therapy), they will be provided at Liberty Preschool at no cost to the family. Liberty Preschool is located in the Lynwood Elementary building at 4640 Santa Fe Dr. Indianapolis and is home to all preschool classrooms for the district!
Who is eligible to receive Early Childhood Special Education Services?
Children three through five years of age, who are determined eligible according to Article 7 (Indiana's special education legal guidelines). The following eligibility categories may be considered when appropriate during the evaluation process:
Autism Spectrum Disorder
A developmental disability in communication. social interaction and unusual patterns of behavior and/or play.
Blind or Low Vision
Visual impairments that severely affect development.
Demonstrated by significantly below average general intellectual functioning. May be mild to severe in nature.
Deaf or Hard of Hearing
A hearing loss that, with or without amplification, affects learning. A recent audiogram is necessary to document.
Applies to children ages 3 - 9 that have significant delays in one area of development or moderate delays in two areas of development which includes cognitive, language, physical, social, and/or self-help skills.
A severe, pervasive emotional condition which interferes with learning.
Demonstrated by delays in receptive or expressive language skills that are non-maturational in nature and negatively affect a child's ability to communicate.
May include fluency, articulation, and voice disorders in the child's speaking voice that make it difficult for the child to be understood by other listeners.
A physical impairment affecting motor development and learning. A doctor’s written statement including diagnosis and description of the orthopedic impairment is needed.
Other Health Impairment
Limited strength, vitality, or alertness due to chronic or acute health problems which negatively affect learning. Diagnostic information and a description of how the health problem may impact learning is needed.
Traumatic Brain Injury
A traumatic brain injury is an acquired injury to the brain resulting in total or partial functional disability.