Early Intervention Transition Guide

EI Transition FAQs

How do I prepare for my child’s evaluation?

Your child has been referred to the Burlington Public Schools for an evaluation in one or all of the following areas: academic, speech/language, occupational therapy, physical therapy or cognition. Once the referral has been received, the BECC Team Chair, Andrea Hayes, completes and sends the Consent for Evaluation form that identifies areas of concern for specific assessments and requests parent permission to begin the proposed evaluation(s). Once this form is signed and received by the BECC Team Chair, the evaluation process may begin.

Please sign and return the Consent for Evaluation forms to the BECC. Any additional information such as reports from an independent evaluations that are considered pertinent to your child’s history to:

Deborah Clark - Program Director
123 Cambridge St.
Burlington, MA 01803

Andrea Hayes - Team Chair
123 Cambridge St.
Burlington, MA 01803

How do I schedule the evaluations?

You will receive a letter in the mail with the scheduled evaluation date and time.

How long does the evaluation take?

A single evaluation may take between one and two hours. If your child is being referred for an evaluation in more than one area, a multi-disciplinary evaluation may be scheduled. A multi-disciplinary evaluation consists of 2 or more of the following components: a social history, a cognitive evaluation, an observation, occupational therapy evaluation, physical therapy evaluation, speech/language evaluation to determine your child’s skills and abilities. Areas to be evaluated include cognition, language and communication, social-emotional, and motor development. This evaluation will be scheduled with the evaluating therapists and may be completed within one or two visits.

Where does the evaluation take place?

All evaluations take place at the Burlington Early Childhood Center, housed at Burlington High School.

Can I accompany my child to the evaluation?

Yes. Parents are encouraged to stay during the evaluation to serve as informants and provide background and related information to the therapists. However, children tend to perform better if parents wait in the office. If your child has a difficult time separating, you can stay in the room during testing. We ask that you sit quietly and do not answer for your child or prompt your child’s response.

What if my child does not cooperate during the evaluation?

Please do not worry. Valuable information can be obtained by watching your child play and interact in the evaluation setting. If by some chance, your child is not having a typical day, the evaluation can be rescheduled to another date. Also, the evaluating therapists may opt to observe your child in a more familiar environment, such as your home or his/her daycare. Arrangements can be made for these observations by the therapists with your help.

What is a speech-language evaluation?

A certified speech-language pathologist will assess the following through standardized tests and clinical observations:

| Language |
Pragmatic language/social use of language - This may include eye gaze, paying attention to what a person is saying, taking turns, understanding and use of natural gestures, overall communication interactions and intents.

Receptive Language-what your child understands.

Expressive Language-the way your child communicates thoughts and needs.

| Articulation |
How your child pronounces sounds

| Oral Motor Skills |
Assess facial muscles and muscle tone, lips, teeth, tongue, etc. while your child talks/eats/drinks. Does your child drool or have difficulty tolerating certain kinds of food textures? Does your child mouth nonfood items?

| Voice |
The pitch, loudness, and quality of your child’s voice while talking.

| Fluency |
Smooth flow of speech including listening for sounds or words that are prolonged/ stretched out, and listening for sounds or words that are repeated, hesitations and fillers (“um, uh”)

What is an Occupational Therapy evaluation?

A registered occupational therapist will assess through standardized tests and clinical observations the following: fine motor, self-care, visual motor, sensory integration, hand strength and pre-writing skills.

What is a Physical Therapy evaluation?

A registered physical therapist will assess, through standardized tests and clinical observations, the gross motor skills of your child as they relate to physical functioning and safety in the educational environment.

What is a Cognitive evaluation?

Cognitive testing looks at what information a child has acquired and his/her abilities in attending to, perceiving and processing information.

When will I know the results of the evaluation?

Written reports will be available for you to pick up at the BECC 48 hours or 2 school days before the meeting.

Massachusetts law requires evaluations to be completed within 30 school days and determination of a student’s special education needs be made at the Team Meeting within 45 school days of consent to the evaluation.

What is a Team Meeting?

You will be invited by the Team to attend a Team Meeting after the evaluations have been completed. This meeting is generally scheduled on a Wednesday or a Thursday afternoon and lasts for approximately 60 minutes. This time is set aside to determine the needs of your child with you and the Team. If your child is in need of special education services, the Team will develop an Individual Education Program (IEP) at this meeting. The IEP describes the goals the Team has set for your child for the school year, as well as any special supports that are needed to help achieve those goals. You can take an active role in helping to develop the goals and determining which skills or areas will receive the most attention. The IEP will be reviewed annually to update the goals and make sure the levels of service meet your child's needs. Keep in mind, IEPs can be changed at any time on an as-needed basis.

The IEP process is complex, but it's also an effective way to develop a plan that addresses how your child learns and functions. If you have concerns, don't hesitate to ask questions about the evaluation findings or the goals recommended by the Team. You know your child best and should play a central role in creating a learning plan tailored to your child's specific needs.

Also, we encourage you to make arrangements for child care on this day, so that you will have the opportunity to process the information that will be discussed.

What kinds of services are available?

This depends on the needs of your child. If services are needed, he team must consider how to provide services to your child in the Least Restrictive Environment (LRE). LRE is where your child can learn and access the curriculum close to your home with other children of the same age who do not have disabilities.

The continuum of services from least restrictive to more restrictive is:

[ 1 ]  Related Services: speech-language therapy, physical therapy, and occupational therapy.

[ 2 ] Integrated Preschool Setting: a class with preschool children with and without disabilities with specialized services provided within the context of the classroom.

When will services begin?
If your child is in need of special education services, these services will begin when your child turns three and an IEP is developed, completed, and signed by the following team members:

- Andrea Hayes - Team Chair, BECC
- Deborah Clark - Director, BECC
- Parents/Guardians