[ABCs of SPED] I is for Independent Education Evaluation

abcs of sped Apr 23, 2018

We talk a lot about paperwork in the special education process and few things are as dense as a psychoeducational evaluation report (say that 3 times fast!). 

If you're new to this world, a pyschoeducational evaluation is typically conducted as part of the eligibility process (learn more here!), and it includes a variety of measures to determine your child's strengths and weaknesses and to assess how they may affect his or her academic functioning.

Typically, one of these evaluation reports is 12-20 pages long and includes a narrative history, IQ test results, achievement test results, test conditions, limitations, and finally recommendations and suggestions. These reports (and the results they provide) are typically the biggest factor in determining whether a student has an "educational disability."

So what happens if they school conducts one of these evaluations and you think the results are terrible?

It is not uncommon for parents to disagree with the evaluation report— either the diagnosis or the recommendations put forth by the psychoeducational evaluation summary.

Parents might disagree for any number of reasons, including:

  • They feel like the assessments chosen were not appropriate for their child
  • They don't think the evaluation was thorough enough
  • They believe the results are biased based on a member of the school team’s prior interactions with the student
  • They don't think the results accurately reflect the child's abilities or deficits
  • They disagree with the diagnosis provided as a result of the evaluation

It doesn't matter why the parents disagree with the evaluation report— the recourse is the same. The procedural safeguards outline a process for having an independent educational evaluation (or I.E.E.) completed at public expense in the case of parental disagreement.

What does this mean? It means that if you disagree with an evaluation conducted by the school district, you can request an outside agency to conduct a new evaluation (and the school will pay for it).

A few things to know: an IEE can be requested not more than once per year, and it can be requested for any type of evaluation that the school has completed. This not only applies to psychoeducational evaluations, it also applies to assessments, like an FBA or Functional Behavior Assessment, if the parents disagree with the school team’s conclusions.

While we don't want to constantly pull students out of class in order to conduct assessments (because this results in lost instructional time and can cause frustration for the student), knowing how and when to request an IEE is an important tool for parents.

Why? Because we want to make sure that your child’s educational program is built upon correct information that you, the parent or guardian, agrees with.

Want more information? Please consult your procedural safeguards handbook for directions for how to request an IEE!

Want to be part of a community that discusses issues like this? Join our IEP Guru Facebook group and check out the Live Q&A videos that I do (almost) weekly! It's a great place to share questions and brainstorm solutions.

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