Get Your Child Diagnosed
Getting a diagnosis to determine if your child has special needs can be very stressful. Parents report feeling scared, sad or even angry.Believe me, my wife and I felt the same way. However, the sooner you get a diagnosis and a treatment game plan, the better. In order to receive any special education help from the state or the school system, your child will need to be tested. For preschool children, you will need to research the local state agencies that handle special education services for preschoolers. The "Get the Help You Need" section of this website will help you to find the organizations in your area that handle preschool special needs children.
As for school age children, the only way to receive special education services is to be tested by the local school district. The initial test will be handled by the school, and you will have to request testing in writing. The school's test is called an Evaluation and it's supposed to provide an assessment of strengths and weaknesses in your child's academic and behavioral arena. The public school says the results of the test will provide the basis for what services will be rendered by the school.
That said, the independent evaluation can be quite expensive. If money is an issue, try contacting local colleges with psychology or child development departments. Some will offer this testing at a significantly reduced price, or even for free. These are universally recognized neuropsychological tests that are the standard for testing for special needs across the country. Much of their value is in comparing your child's test scores to other children his age in that specific learning category. For us, the test results gave us a benchmark from which to compare with other kids and this information proved to be invaluable.
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