Is It Time for a Re-evaluation?


How often should an evaluation for LD be done? My son was diagnosed with Nonverbal Learning Disabilities at 8, had a second evaluation at 12, and is now about to turn 16. Is it time to update his evaluation?


Ask the Experts

Lisa Rappaport, Ph.D

Dr. Rappaport is a neuropsychologist, specializing in the treatment of children with LD, ADHD, and developmental disorders. She is also an Assistant Professor of Pediatrics at Albert Einstein College of Medicine.

Yes, it’s time for your son to be re-evaluated. Typically, students are required to have a full re-evaluation every three years to continue receiving special education services from their school district.

There are instances when a partial evaluation is indicated after six to nine months. This may be appropriate when there have been educational interventions put in place and the team wants to ensure that the recommendations are having the intended effect, and to verify that no further changes are in order at that time. This abbreviated evaluation would only include educational testing and not IQ testing or neuropsychological testing.

If a child attends a non-public school, the school may decide that they can wait an extra year for a full re-evaluation. This might happen if a child enters middle school with a new evaluation; the school may decide that rather than have the child undergo another evaluation during middle school, it can wait until the summer before high school. In these cases, the full evaluation can be postponed because the child is responding well to the interventions, and the team feels that they have a handle on what is helping the child.

Your son was 12 when he had his last evaluation so it makes sense to do another evaluation now, since there are big changes in school between middle school and high school, and developmentally between the ages of 12 and 16. His evaluation will also need to be current (within three years) if he is going to try to get accommodations on standardized tests. The newest evaluation will also help when you are deciding what colleges to apply to.

Related Smart Kids Topics

Ask the Experts