After you give consent, we have 60 calendar days to evaluate your child.

Evaluation Location

Preschool-Age Children

  • Children may be eligible for preschool special education services during the year in which they turn three through the end of the school year in which they turn five.
  • Upon receipt of your written referral, the Committee on Preschool Special Education (CPSE) will provide you with a referral packet containing important information.
  • The referral packet will contain a list of approved evaluation sites. You can choose a site from this list and set up an evaluation.

School-Age Students in Public School

The Individualized Education Program (IEP) team will evaluate your child at school.

School-Age Students in Religious, Private, or Charter Schools, or Not Enrolled in School

The Committee on Special Education (CSE) will evaluate your child at the CSE in your school district or at your child’s school, if possible.

Initial Evaluation

The DOE will evaluate your child in all areas related to the suspected disability. The evaluation includes all of the following:

Social History

An interview with you to get information about your child’s development and family history.


A test that looks at what your child knows and how he or she learns.


A study of your child in his or her classroom.

Physical Examination

A recent report of your child's vision, hearing, and general health from your doctor. If you have trouble getting this, ask the IEP team, CSE or CPSE to help you get an examination at no cost.

Other Assessments, When Needed

  • Speech and Language
  • Sign Language Fluency
  • Occupational and/or Physical Therapy
  • Functional Behavior Assessment (FBA)
  • Assistive Technology (AT)
  • School records
  • Teacher assessments
  • Interviews to determine work skills and interests, if your child is 12 or older

Independent Assessments

An independent assessment is done by someone who does not work for the DOE.

Independent Assessments Paid for by You

We will evaluate your child, but you have the right to pay for an independent assessment. If your child is eligible, Medicaid may cover this cost. Results are only given to you, but the IEP team will consider any independent assessments that you provide to them.

Independent Assessments Paid for by the DOE

If you disagree with an assessment conducted by the DOE, you can request that the DOE pay for an independent assessment. You must make this request in writing and give it to the IEP team, CSE, or CPSE. We will either agree to pay for an independent assessment or begin an impartial hearing.

If we agree to pay, you must:

  • Choose a qualified evaluator who does not charge higher than the maximum rate; and
  • Ask for reimbursement within a reasonable period of time.

If we begin an impartial hearing, and the impartial hearing officer finds that the assessment conducted by the DOE is appropriate, you still have the right to get and share an independent assessment with the IEP team, CSE, or CPSE. However, we will not pay for the independent assessment.

Bilingual Assessments

Your child should have a bilingual assessment if your home language is not English. A bilingual assessment is done in both English and your child’s home language.

Preschool-Age Children

  • Languages will be identified by an agency on the evaluation site list in the referral packet.
  • Contact your CPSE or ECDC for help finding an agency that can do a bilingual assessment.

School-Age Students

Your child will be given a bilingual assessment based on:

  • The language you use in your home, as indicated on the Home Language Identification Survey; and
  • Results of the New York State Identification Test for English Language Learners (NYSITELL) or the New York State English as a Second Language Achievement Test (NYSESLAT). Learn about these tests for English language learners.

A DOE bilingual evaluator will be assigned. If a bilingual evaluator is not available, we will use one of the following:

  • A bilingual evaluator who works for an agency under contract
  • A monolingual evaluator with a a spoken language or sign language interpreter
  • A non-DOE independent bilingual evaluator