ECE Evaluation


New Member
I haven't had a chance to look through your other replies to me in detail yet. We were on the waiting list at Children's for a MDE. They called yesterday to schedule us, finally, and she said at the end of the phone call, "OK, so you're all set for an appointment with Dr. blah blah blah, psychologist, on Sept 25th". When I asked if this was an MDE she said "all that means is that there's a medical component too. As long as you're seeing your pediatrician that's fine" !!!!!!!
Isn't a MDE when a TEAM of experts evaluates your child? She told me we'll have 2 or 3 appts with this psychologist and then he'll formulate a treatment plan.
WHAT do I do now??????????????????????????
Do you know anyone at Children's I can call?

THank you SO MUCH again !



Dear Vicki,

Your pediatrician isn't adequate (I have the data to back that statement up.)The person you spoke to is not well informed regarding how often pediatricians are incapable of handling the needs of complex kids. You need to call and find out how to ALSO get the following scheduled:

A psychiatric evaluation and medication evaluation. A psychologist cannot do this.

You may need a neurological evaluation depending on the issues. This could be a psychologist who specializes in "neuroscience" or a neurologist (M.D.)

In addition, this would be the time to get P.T., O.T. and sensory integration issues evaluated if there are needs in those areas as well.

You need to have difficult child's academic levels evaluated but if the psychologist is scheduled for multiple sessions, s/he may be doing this--and is certainly qualified to do so.

I'm sorry I don't have a specific name for you to call. However, you do need a multidisciplinary evaluation. Since the waiting list is long, you might want to keep the first appointment and try to use the psychologist to get the rest set up--or, you might want to be very clear about what you want for your son before you start. I can think of pros and cons of both approaches.

I am sorry I missed this post--It "dropped" before I saw it was addressed to me.

PM if you have further questions.



New Member
Thank you so much.

Can I get the speech, PT, Occupational Therapist (OT) & sensory evaluations done at Children's too? The intake coordinator in the Psychiatry dept at children's (the one who scheduled our psychology appointment) had no clue what I meant by MDE.......should I just call her back and ask for those additional evaluations?

Thank you!


New Member
Hi Again,
My difficult child is only 3 years 2 months old. The sd is getting ready to do an evaluation for him to see if he qualifies for their therapeutic pre-school. What type of evaluation should I expect/ask for from the sd at his age?
I talked with the early childhood coordinator the other day (she's a psychologist...I'm in district 47) and she said that since difficult child's early intervention evaluation was relatively recent (May 2006) they would be able to use most of the information from the EI report and therefore do a more "informal" evaluation of their own....should that worry me?
Going back and reading some of these Occupational Therapist (OT) threads, I'd really like difficult child to have speech/Occupational Therapist (OT) evaluation done by the sd, is that a reasonable request for a 3 year old?


I feel so lucky to have you as a resource and doubly blessed because you live nearby and know the system in Illinois! Whew!


I am suggesting that you ask for those evaluations while you are at Children's, either through the coordinator or when you meet with the psychologist the first time. There are advantages to each choice but it will be far cheaper in the long run and easier on you and difficult child to get these evaluations coordinated in one place that is trustworthy.



As you know, children can change rapidly in early childhood.

A speech and language evaluation, both formal and informal, (testing but also observation with other children and adults)should be done. An Occupational Therapist (OT) evaluation is a good idea in my opinion if there are any issues with fine motor skills; a PT evaluation will cover gross motor skills. I am not as familiar with Occupational Therapist (OT) because both my kids had very accelerated fine motor development but many parents here think it is very important to address any problems that might be present. It makes sense: much of what young children learn requires "doing" which depends in part on fine-motor skills. In any event, you are entitled to this evaluation if you have concerns,; since you do, ask for it.

A really important aspect of ECE evaluation is social emotional development. There are very tight time lines for how children should be progressing even within a six month interval. It is not as important that the child be "at age level" is that there is positive change since May. Many children with parents on this board have problems in this area; the schools try to focus only on academics; and then problems that might have been better addressed with a young child, become huge problems.

So the "standard" for a 3 year old is:
Social/emotional (including both adults and children, testing and informal observation)
preacademic skills
attention span
ability to follow directions
self-help skills
Occupational Therapist (OT) and PT if a concern
sensory issues if a concern

Intelligence testing is usually part of the package but whatever a child scores at this age is notoriously unreliable. Do not let the school excuse your child's lack of development or poorly controlled behavior because of IQ if he happens to score low. Many children with behavior problems test poorly and are quite bright.

Then purpose of letting the SD evaluate is it is necessary to qualify you son for services. Remember, it is in their $$ interest to minimize his problems. Your Independent Evaluation should be free of bias and give you a true picture of your son's strengths and deficits. Then you have a basis of comparison to use with the school district. Without a good IE, a parent cannot go up against a SD.

I know I sound negative and sometimes people hop in with their positive stories. I always encourage people to be pleasant and non-hostile with their SD but I've been doing this long enough to know that "the best interest of the child" is not the SD concern most of the time. This is further complicated by the fact the schools serve VERY POORLY the exact group of children whose parents are on this board. If it were and Learning Disability (LD) board, or a board for children with physical disabilities, the experiences would be different.



New Member
OK, thank you so much.
I will send a note to the ECE psychologist requesting the evaluations that you've listed above. Keeping my fingers crossed that I don't make my way onto her list of annoying parents!
I'd love to be able to get 100% of the evaluations/services that difficult child needs while also maintaining a good relationship with the sd......high hopes, I know......

OK, so my next question (are you cringingf?!?!?!?) is.......if difficult child DOES qualify for ECE, there's a schedule conflict with his current pre-school. He's getting ready to begin Montessori preschool 3 mornings per week. I am really hopefull that he'll thrive there and feel that it's an excellent environment for him (the 3 days he spent there for "summer camp" were good). The ECE program is Mon-Thurs, also in the mornings. They do 3 & 4 year olds in the AM and older 4's and 5's in their afternoon session. Should I:

1) ask if 3 year old difficult child can attend the afternoon session with the older kids?

2) only send him to the ECE on the 2 days per week that he's not already in Montessori school?

Any suggestions?

Thank you !


New Member
aww I wish I had a positive story to hop in and tell. :-(
I also wish I did not know that here the physically disabled kids also get treated poorly. :-(

Aw well, head up high, keep on educating and advocating. Keep on trying.

I am VERY grateful for this forum. THANK YOU MODERATORS!


Active Member
I sure wouldn't mention to the school staff doing the evaluations that you were considering sending him to Montessori enrolled in a class of older children. Since social and emotional issues were part of the reasons for EI it would be like saying you wanted the district to treat him for being at-risk but you were going to raise the bar by sending him to a class with increased social demands.


I definitely agree with SRL even tho' it appears you mean with the older ECE children. You can't have it both ways, and I doubt that your child would do well with older children--difficult child's are not usually extra mature.

Your child is very young--tell them you think 2 days per week is enough. Another route is to say that whatever special help he needs, he also needs time with "normally developing peers."

Do not pour your heart out to these people. You need to get information first and then decide what to do.

Dreamer, I thought of you when making the physically disabled comparison. However, I will stand by the idea that parents of children with other types of disabilities are not BLAMED as much--plus you live in a REALLY awful SD :(



New Member
Thats OK Martie. I totally understand and I think I might even agree with you, :) I was just chuckliing a little when you said something about how some people would come with their positive stories,(so I piped up with a negative one, impulsively) so I guess I was being a pita? (I hope I did not anger anyone or upset anyone?- if so, my apologies.)