Disagree With the School District’s Testing? Request a Second Independent Evaluation For Free
If your child was struggling in school and completed psychoeducational testing with the school district’s school psychologist and you disagree with the results, you can request a second independent evaluation for free. This means you get to choose the psychologist outside of the school system that you want to work with to test your child.
Lets say you recognize your child has extreme difficulty with reading so you went through the school district’s process and had the school district’s psychologist test your child for dyslexia, a specific learning disability. At the results review meeting you learn the school district’s psychologist says based on their testing nothing wrong with your child and he or she scored within typical limits so their is nothing they can do to provide special instruction. You however, disagree because YOU know your child best and your intuition is telling you there is something wrong with your child’s reading. You realize how much your child struggles at home and in the classroom your child seems to read because he or she can memorize how a word looks. You just want to know what’s going on with your child and get your child the help he or she needs but the school staff say, “Nope, they don’t qualify.”
If that occurs you can immediately disagree with their results and request an outside independent educational evaluation by a psychologist of your choice. Perhaps you learned that the school’s psychologist did not have any training in dyslexia testing and you want to come have me test your child since I’m a school psychologist and certified dyslexia testing specialist. Or, you just have a feeling the school’s psychologist did not dig deep enough to uncover what’s really going on with your child. When you request the unbiased second opinion (called an Independent Educational Evaluation or IEE) the school district must pay me to test your child. I’d provide the UNBIASED second opinion through my testing process.
How to Request the School to Approve/ Pay for an Independent Educational Evaluation.
Here is the process step by step.
- In the school meeting ask for an Independent Educational Evaluation (IEE) because you disagree with their testing results. You don’t have to provide a reason why you disagree.
- The school district can’t delay the approval process because you don’t give them an explanation of why you want a second opinion.
- The second IEE should not be a school district employee or psychologist from another area within the district.
- The right to an IEE is not a team decision, it is the decision of the school administrator (sometimes called local education agency representative).
- Get a Yes or No answer before you tell the school district who you want to use for the second testing opinion/ independent educational evaluation.
- If they tell you, “No.”, this automatically triggers a due process hearing (and school districts don’t really like going through these hearings because they take a lot of their time and resources. Plus, the law is very clearly states there is a due process hearing if they deny you.
- Once you get the Yes to your request, ask the school staff for their criteria for the Independent Evaluator’s credentials to make sure the person you want to test your child meets the criterion.
Want to know exactly what the law says about requesting an independent evaluation? Watch this six minute video by a special education attorney and special education advocate. They show you step by step in a mock IEP meeting how to request the second independent evaluation.
You Know Your Child Best
Use the form above to contact me if you are considering requesting an Independent Educational Evaluation for your child. YOU are your child’s best advocate and don’t ‘roll over’ just because a school staff member tells you they can’t help your child.
I’m looking forward to helping you and your child.