Evaluation is the first step to identifying what therapy or help is needed, if at all. An evaluation may address general concerns or examine a specific area of development. McCarton Center Bronx will notify you if it feels that an evaluation by a medical specialist is required.
The Multi-Disciplinary Evaluation Team
A multidisciplinary team will be responsible for conducting a comprehensive and holistic evaluation of each child referred for evaluation. The multidisciplinary team will be composed of the following professionals: physical therapist, occupational therapist, speech language pathologist, social worker, special education teacher, and developmental psychologist.
What Evaluations are Available?
McCarton Center Bronx is able to provide multidisciplinary evaluation services for children under 3 years of age to establish a child’s eligibility for the Early Intervention Program. At least two professionals evaluate the child’s current developmental functioning across five different domains: adaptive, cognitive, communication, physical and social-emotional. Based on the family’s concerns, other evaluations may be recommended in the areas of developmental psychology, occupational therapy, physical therapy and speech and language.
The multidisciplinary evaluation (MDE) team will consist of two professionals from different disciplines who are knowledgeable and trained in early childhood development. They will utilize different measures to ensure that they are able to capture the child’s current level of development in all areas. Families are the most important members of the evaluation as they are able to provide the evaluators with background information regarding their child’s development and other pertinent information. Evaluators encourage parents and caretakers to interact with their child during the evaluation as children tend to respond more to their parents at this young age.
Evaluators are sensitive to the family’s cultural beliefs and traditions as well as their personal values and lifestyle. The family is encouraged to share pertinent information regarding their beliefs and values in relation to how they raise their child. The evaluation process is centered around the child’s and family’s concerns and needs in order to meet the desired priorities of the family. The MDE will focus on determining a child’s current level of functioning, identifying any needs the child may have, and working together with the family to identify resources to address the needs or desired outcomes.
Appointments and scheduled meetings will be arranged to accommodate the family’s schedule and not mainly the evaluator’s convenience.
The evaluation process will focus not only on identifying the suspected needs of the child but also on the resources and capacities of the immediate and extended family that can be mobilized to address family concerns, needs or desired outcomes.
The evaluator is expected to be sensitive to the family’s cultural and ethnic beliefs, traditions, personal values and lifestyle. The family will be encouraged to share pertinent information regarding their culture, beliefs and values as it relates to childrearing and child care.
The Early Intervention Program (EIP) is a public program for infants and toddlers with special needs. Children with diagnosed conditions that lead to developmental delays (such as Down syndrome, cerebral palsy, autism, etc.) are eligible for the EIP. Children with no diagnosis who have delays in development may be eligible for the EIP if their delays are serious enough. If you have concerns about your child’s development, you can call the Early Intervention Program in your area to refer your child (if you live in New York City call 311, in Nassau County call 516.227.8661, and in Suffolk County call 631.853.3100). Someone else can help you make the referral to the Early Intervention Program if you wish. If your child is found to be eligible for services by someone approved to perform this evaluation, you, your county’s staff representative, and other team members will make a plan to help your child – and your family. Early Intervention services in your IFSP authorized by your county are provided at no cost to you. Your county will arrange for the services to be provided and will choose the provider based on the needs of your child and family. Your child’s health insurance may be used to cover some of the costs. All other costs for EIP services are paid for by your county and New York State. Early intervention services are provided where it’s best for your child – in places such as your home, day care, or other community settings. The EIP covers the cost of early intervention services only. The EIP does not pay for the day care or other fees charged by community settings.