Early Childhood Evaluation Program

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Early Childhood Evaluation Program (ECEP) FAQs

What is the purpose of an ECEP evaluation?

To address your family’s questions, concerns, and priorities, provide a comprehensive evaluation of your child's development, and develop recommendations based on the assessment findings. You are the expert on your child and an important member of the team. We will ask you many questions about how your child is at home and ask for medical and other information. We want your child to feel comfortable and safe. We ask that you stay close to your child, as needed, throughout the evaluation. You will always be with your child; there is never a time when you are asked to separate from him/her.  We will engage your child in a playful way to perform standardized testing activities and other informal assessment tasks.

How much does an ECEP evaluation cost?

There is never a charge to families.  We will bill Medicaid and private insurance.  A copy of your insurance/Medicaid card is required for billing.  You should not be charged; if you receive a bill from your insurance company, please contact us and we will speak with the insurance company to ensure that you do not need to pay.

How do I get an ECEP evaluation for my child?

If you are currently receiving Early Intervention services, please talk with your service coordinator to decide if an ECEP evaluation may be right for your child and how to refer to ECEP.  If you are not receiving Early Intervention services, call ECEP at (505) 272-9846 or (800) 337-6076.  Please note that ECEP evaluations are scheduled after referral paperwork is received.  ECEP typically schedules 2-4 months in advance, based on demand and location.

What if I want therapy or Early Intervention services for my child?

ECEP does not provide ongoing therapy or Early Intervention services. Please call BabyNet at (800) 552-8195 for information on these services in your area. Your local Early Intervention provider can carry out an initial developmental evaluation and arrange ongoing therapy/EI services for eligible children ages birth to three.

Where are ECEP evaluations completed?

ECEP evaluations are completed at our clinic in central Albuquerque, at 2300 Menaul NE.  The ECEP team also frequently travels to locations around the state of New Mexico.  During these clinics, early intervention providers help find clinic space within cities and towns outside of Albuquerque.  Your location and your family’s ability to travel will be discussed with you to determine the best location for completing the evaluation.

What areas does an ECEP evaluation look at or measure?

We will look at the following areas of your child’s development:

  • Thinking and problem-solving abilities
  • Social and emotional interactions/engagement
  • Communication, speech and language abilities and understanding
  • Motor skills and coordination
  • Response to sights, sounds, touch and movement
  • Physical examination and review of medical history

Who will be a part of the evaluation?

Family members are the most important members of the team.  We also want early intervention providers to observe the evaluation and give feedback about developmental functioning in other settings.  Because ECEP is part of the University of New Mexico, we may have students observing or participating in the evaluation. Your ECEP team will be composed of professionals with years of experience working with you children, including:

  • A physician or nurse practitioner

  • A developmental/clinical psychologist

  • A speech-language pathologist

  • A physical or occupational therapist

What does an ECEP evaluation day look like?

The entire evaluation process will take approximately four hours. The evaluation of your child will take approximately two hours.  Your child’s overall development is assessed during this time and you will be asked many questions about your child’s medical and developmental history and behaviors at home.  At the end of this time, a short medical examination will be completed.  After your child has been evaluated by the ECEP team, you and your child will have a break, typically for about an hour.  When you return from your break, you will have a family meeting with members of the ECEP team.  They will share the testing results with you, respond to any questions you have, and discuss recommendations to help your child's growth and development. Both parents are encouraged to be present for the family meeting, if possible. You are welcome to bring other caregivers and/or providers with you to the family meeting.  Your child can be present at the family meeting but it is not necessary. 

Are ECEP evaluations only in English?

No.  ECEP will provide a translator to complete the evaluation in your child’s primary language. 

What should I bring to the ECEP evaluation?

  • Food/snacks for your child and yourself

  • Diapers, wipes, extra clothes, etc.

  • Your child's favorite toy

  • Any medical records and/or previous evaluation reports you may have

What should I do before the ECEP evaluation?

  • Make sure your child is fed and well rested

  • Bring your child in comfortable/play clothing

  • If your children are twins, or multiples, PLEASE dress them in different outfits

Will my child receive a diagnosis at the time of an ECEP evaluation?

The ECEP team may discuss possible causes of delays with you.  We may give your child a diagnosis that is based on observations at the time of this evaluation, in addition to behaviors at home and in other settings.  The ECEP team may also provide recommendations for further medical or developmental assessments to rule out possible causes of a delay.  All of the information that is gathered during the evaluation will be discussed with you during the family meeting.

Will I get a copy of the report?

The ECEP team will write a report documenting the results of the evaluation.  The report will be ready in approximately one month.  You will receive a copy of the report in the mail.  The final report is also sent to your child’s primary care provider.  If you would like others to receive a copy of the report, such as early intervention providers or the school system, then you will sign a release of information form at the time of the evaluation.

Who do I contact if I have questions after the evaluation?

A member of the ECEP team will be your evaluation coordinator.  This person will give you their contact information and will be happy to answer questions following the evaluation about the assessment itself, the report, or follow up recommendations.  You can also contact ECEP at (505) 272-9846, toll-free (800) 337-6076 or FAX (505) 272-0386.

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ECEP Referral Packet
Frequently Asked Questions
NM Family Infant Toddler (FIT) Website
NM FIT Early Intervention Agencies

“Understanding Motor Planning Deficits in Young Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder”
March 12, 2016 at annual NMAEYC Conference
ECEP staff and faculty Presentation


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