Once you have decided that the EIP can help your child and family, the next step is to have your child evaluated. This evaluation is called a Multidisciplinary Evaluation (MDE). “Multidisciplinary” means that a team of qualified professionals from different disciplines or professions will take part in your child’s evaluation. Children with certain diagnosed conditions are automatically eligible for the EIP. For these children, the purpose of the MDE is to assess your child’s strengths, needs, and current level of functioning in all areas of development.
The five areas of development that will be looked at to assist in developing the IFSP are:
- Cognitive (learning and thinking)
- Physical (growth, vision and hearing, gross and fine motor abilities)
- Communication (understanding and using words)
- Social-emotional (relating to others)
- Adaptive (self-help skills, such as feeding).
If suspected of having a developmental delay, your child will be evaluated to determine if he or she is eligible for EI services and supports. As part of your child’s MDE, you will be given the chance to take part in a voluntary family assessment; it is not required.
The family assessment is family-directed and used to help you in determining the resources, priorities, and concerns of your family related to caring for and enhancing your child’s development; it is not a test of your parenting skills.