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Independent Child Study Team Evaluations in Northern New Jersey

Parents may sometimes wish for a more thorough evaluation than what is offered by their child’s school system. In these cases, an independent child study team evaluation performed by Psycho-Educational Associates can give New Jersey parents the answers they desire.

Why Have an Independent Child Study Team Evaluation?

On occasion, parents choose to have independent evaluations conducted. Generally, independent evaluations are considered when parents disagree with an assessment.

In addition, if parents feel that school testing is not comprehensive enough, they will often consider independent evaluations. This usually happens because child study teams typically test for specific purposes such as eligibility for special education services, which means evaluations are not as comprehensive as those undertaken by private practitioners.

Who is Involved in an Independent Child Study Team?

Each child study team is comprised of a multi-disciplinary group of professionals. At least two of the team members perform the evaluation as follows:

Learning Disabilities Teacher Consultant, otherwise referred to as LDTC

  • Reviews the student’s educational history
  • Analyzes and evaluates the student’s learning characteristics and academic performance
  • Confers with the student’s teacher/s to develop practical intervention strategies
  • Conducts educational testing

Psychologist

  • Confers with the child’s teacher/s
  • Assesses the child’s current state of cognition. This includes learning and thinking, along with the child’s emotional, adaptive and social status
  • Analyzes students performance through reviewing data and records, direct observations, etc
  • Conducts psycho-educational testing
  • Provides various psychological services including counseling, crisis interventions, and training staff

School’s Social Worker

  • Evaluates the cultural and social factors that have an influence on the student’s attitude in the classroom and school
  • Evaluates the student’s emotional development and adaptive social functioning

Speech Therapist

This occurs with children who are typically between three and five years of age, along with children whose disability includes language delays. The school nurse is also involved whenever a child has been referred and performs the following:

  • Reviews and summarizes all available medical and health information that pertains to the child.
  • Gives the summary to the team so that consideration can be made as to whether a specialized medical evaluation or a health appraisal will be required.
  • Performs specialized testing in areas related to speech and language development that may impact on one’s ability to learn.

How does an Independent Child Study Team Evaluation Benefit my Child?

The Independent CST Evaluation provides in-depth insight into each person’s learning profile and helps to determine whether a student has a disability and provides him or her with specially designed instruction. This instruction may be referred to as gifted education or special education.

Based on the results of the testing and evaluation, concrete recommendations are made to address any learning deficits. This may include the recommendation or the school to develop or modify an existing individualized education plan (IEP). The school is obligated to develop an IEP for any child who has a disability which adversely affects his or her academic achievement. The IEP is a legally binding document that is designed to help children learn coping strategies to handle their disabilities and succeed in school. Inherent to the IEP are program placements, which are the outlining of achievable goals and objectives specific to each child and accommodation and modification interventions.

In general, an Independent CST Evaluation can help your child:

  • Access Special Education ( includes IEP and personalized goals)
  • Obtain additional related services in school such as speech, language or physical therapy
  • Obtain a 504 Plan when your child may not be eligible for special education
  • Receive special accommodations regarding state standardized tests such as the SAT, PARCC, and NJASK
  • Be admitted to the gifted educational program at his or her school
  • Receive accommodations in college courses/graduate school if he or she is a college student. This includes the GRE, MCAT, and LSAT

Types of Evaluations and Their Purpose

Depending on your child’s particular situation, the types of evaluations that may be offered include:

Psychological and/or Cognitive Evaluation
This type of evaluation reports on the student’s intellectual ability. It shows how well the student is capable of performing, as well as academic learning potential in the future. Specifically, the psychological or cognitive evaluation reveals a child’s ability to understand and process simple or complex information.

The student’s emotional, adaptive, social and behavioral levels can also be assessed. This is useful for revealing symptoms that might suggest issues such as depression, anxiety, low self-esteem, hyperactivity-impulsivity or Asperger’s /Autism. Such symptoms could make it necessary for additional testing by another specialist such as a neurologist, audiologist, or psychologist.

Behavior Intervention Plan/BIP and a Functional Behavioral Analysis/FBA
An FBA may be performed to determine why a child behaves inappropriately at school, and how best to improve his or her behavior. This is a comprehensive process where records are reviewed, the student is observed, and teachers, parents, and the student are interviewed. The information gathered helps to determine the extent and cause of the problem. A Behavioral Intervention Plan/BIP may be developed or created to correct the inappropriate behavior.

Academic/Learning Evaluation
This in-depth evaluation is used to assess the student’s writing, reading, math, oral expressions and listening comprehension skills. As such, teachers and parents can learn more about the child’s current level of performance and can ascertain the child’s academic strengths and weaknesses. Intervention strategies are discussed/developed to identify and address weaknesses that are impacting on the student’s academic achievement in relation to their overall potential.

Social History Interview
This type of interview collects critical background information such as medical issues, family dynamics and developmental milestones that might explain the child’s behavior and performance at home and/or school.

Gifted Evaluation
This type of evaluation typically includes cognitive and academic assessments, and is linked to the specific requirements of each school district’s gifted program.

Speech/Language Evaluations
These evaluations measure the student’s fluency, articulation and communication skills. They also explain the reasons for a student’s struggles with language and speech, and provide guidance for addressing the problems.

Occupational Therapy Evaluation
This is used to assess the child’s fine motor skills and sensory issues. The occupational therapist helps the child with a variety of physical exercises that address flexibility, hand-eye coordination, movements, coordination, and dexterity. They are designed to improve writing, walking and dressing skills such as buttoning, zipping and tying along with addressing sensory issues that interfere with the student’s learning.

Physical Therapy Evaluation
This evaluation determines the student’s gross motor, or large muscle, skills. The physical therapist uses a variety of techniques to strengthen the child’s large muscles and improve his or her walking, sitting, reaching, standing and climbing abilities.

Independent child study team evaluations can provide answers and hope for a number of situations. Here at Psycho-Educational Associates, we have experienced, caring professionals standing by ready to provide you with child study team evaluations and a variety of other services. Contact us today to schedule your appointment!