Video Summary:Multidisciplinary Evaluation Team (MDT) Report

This video goes over a typical report from a Multidisciplinary Evaluation Team (MDT).  MDT report forms come from the state or local school district and can vary between states.  MDT forms also change depending on the input of the of the MDT team.  But, the form we’re going over in this section should give you insight as to how to fill out most forms of this kind.

First, you’ll have to fill out some basic information; the name of the school district where your child is attending school, the date of the notice, and the names of you (the parent) and the child. Next, the form provides you with a number of boxes to check off. Here we will list a few questions that a form might ask, and in what form they will do so.

[ ] This is an initial Special Education verification according to 92 NAC 51 (Rule 51)

     Initial verification date: ___________________

This asks whether the evaluation was conducted according to MDT guidelines, and when the child was verified, if they were verified by the evaluation.

[ ] The testing materials and procedures selected and administered were not racially or culturally  discriminatory.

[ ] Check either A or B:

            [ ] The MDT evaluation was completed in the language and form most likely to yield accurate                           information on what the child knows and can do academically, developmentally, and functionally.

            [ ] It was not feasible to complete the MDT evaluation in the child’s predominant or native language or other mode of communication.

               Explanation: In some cases (such as if the MDT evaluation could not produce someone fluent in sign language for a deaf child who speaks primarily in that form) it will be necessary to check the second box ( “B”, in this case) and provide an explanation for why that happened (i.e, “MDT team could not produce sign language interpreter”) . If your child was evaluated fairly, check the first box (Box “A”).

[ ] Materials and procedures used to assess a child with limited English proficiency were selected and administered to insure that they measure the extent to which the child has a disability and needs special education, rather than measuring the child’s English language skills.

[ ] A variety of assessment tools and strategies are used to gather relevant functional, developmental and academic information about the child, including information provided by the parent, and    information related to enabling the child to be involved in and progress in the general education curriculum (or for a preschool child, to participate in appropriate activities), that may assist in determining:

                        Whether the child is a child with a disability under Subsection 003.07: and

                        The content of the child’s IEP

[ ] All data information obtained from the parent was considered for the purpose of making the       verification decision.

            Summary of data obtained: These boxes have you evaluate whether the tests were done fairly if your child did not speak English, if  data was gathered from a number of sources, and if those data helped determine whether your child had a disability. You should also write in what data was gathered for that purpose.

[ ] Instruments used to complete the MDT evaluation have been validated for the specific purpose for which they were used.

[ ] The assessments are administered by trained and knowledgeable personnel in accordance with any instructions provided by the producer of the assessments.

            If the assessment was not conducted under standard conditions, state the description of the extent to which the assessment varied from standard conditions:

[ ] Assessments and other evaluation materials were used for purposes for which they assessments or measures are valid and reliable.

[ ] Tests and other evaluation materials included those tailored to assess specific areas of educational need and not merely those that are designed to provide a single general intelligence quotient.

Again, these boxes have you evaluate that the testing went according to plan. This includes having the tests and instruments used to evaluate your child do what they set out to do, and that a number of test were conducted in evaluating your child. A simple IQ test for all children won’t work in most instances, so it’s important that as many relevant tests are conducted.

[ ] Tests were selected and administered so as best to insure that if a test is administered to a child with impaired sensory, manual, or speaking skills, the test results accurately reflect the child’s  aptitude or achievement level or whatever other factors the test purports to measure, rather   than reflecting the child’s impaired sensory, manual, or speaking skills (unless those skills are  the factors that the test purports to measure).

This box, like the earlier one on English proficiency, states that tests should evaluate what they are meant to, and not other skills in process. For example, if a test on reading comprehension is given to someone with poor eyesight, the child’s eyesight should not factor into the results of the test. The test should evaluate the child’s functionality, not their disability.

[ ] No single measure or assessment was used as the sole criterion for determining whether a child is a child with a disability and for determining an appropriate educational program for the child.

[ ] The child was assessed in all areas related to the suspected disability, including if appropriate, health, vision, hearing, social and emotional status, general intelligence, academic performance, communicative status, and motor abilities.

[ ] The evaluation was sufficiently comprehensive to identify all of the child’s special education and related services needs whether or not commonly linked to the disability category in which the child has been classified.

     In interpreting evaluation data for the purpose of determining if a child is a child with a disability and the educational needs of the child, the school district or approved cooperative:

            [ ] Drew upon information from a variety of sources, including aptitude and achievement tests, parent input, teacher recommendations, physical condition, social or culture background, and adaptive behavior; and

            [ ] The information obtained from all of these sources was documented and carefully  considered

These boxes again make sure that the testing was as varied and comprehensive as possible, and that the testing was relevant to any possible disabilities a child is suspected of having. The data collected to conduct these test should also be relevant.

[ ] In making a determination of eligibility, a child shall not be determined to be a child with a disability if the determining factor is lack of appropriate instruction in reading, lack of  instruction in math, or limited English proficiency.

The MDT test should evaluate whether the child has a disability that would inhibit their learning, and not whether the child’s instruction is lacking.  There are test to evaluate this, but whether or not the child’s education has provided them with learning age-appropriate skills and knowledge should not determine if the child has a disability.

The next page of the MDT report is the verification page, which is structured a little differently. First, there will be box marked “No disability verified,” which marks if the MDT determined that your child does not have a disability. If this is the case, a referral to the Student Assistance Team) or a problem-solving team will be necessary. The form will for a date to refer the child SAT on, and the name of the SAT contact. The SAT should help your child fill their educational needs if they do not have a disability.

If the child is determined to have a disability, then no less than one of box will be marked to indicate what disability your child has: Autism (AU), Bipolar Disorder (BD), Deaf Blindness (DB), Hearing Impairment (HI), Mental Handicap: Fluency, Multiple Impairments (MULTI), Orthopedic Impairment (OI), Other Health Impairment (OHI), Specific Learning Disabled (SLD), Partially Sighted, Speech Language (SLI) in the areas of either language, articulation, or voice, Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI), Visual Impairment (VI) in the area of either Blind or Legally Blind*, or Developmental Delay (DD). Note that more than one of these disabilities can apply to your child.

[* The difference between Blind and Legally Blind is that a Blind person cannot see at all where a Legally Blind person may be able to see, but their eyesight is poor enough to qualify them for the same disability benefit that Blind person would have.]

Then, the form will list your child’s primary disability, and the “Basis for making the determination,” which includes a report from the MDT justifying how they made their decision. This report can be fairly long depending on the team and the child.

At the bottom of that page,  there will be a list of additional tests or determinations that need to be made or conducted if your child has a specific learning disability. Another excerpt from the MDT report tells us some of these determinations:

A. Relevant behavior noted during observation:

B. Relationship of relevant behavior to the child’s academic functioning:

C. Educationally relevant medical findings, if any:

D. Severe discrepancy between achievement and ability?:

E. If yes,  is the discrepancy correctable without special education?:

F. Summarize the effects of environmental, cultural or economic disadvantages:

The final page of the MDT report lists all the members of the MDT, what area they test the child on, and whether they agree with the MDT’s decision regarding whether the child has a disability or not (each member that disagrees must file their own report detailing why they disagree). Following that, you will be asked to sign the form and list the date you signed the form on. After the MDT report is signed, the process will move on to creating an Individualized Education Program (IEP) for your child, assuming they qualify.

If your child does not qualify, you can file a complaint with the state, file a request for a due-process hearing, or request an independent educational evaluation, which we discuss in other sections.