How To Get An Independent Educational Evaluation
You can request an independent educational evaluation (IEE) by simply stating that you disagree with the school’s assessment(s). Similarly, if you have reviewed the assessments and disagree with their conclusions, testing methods used, or other areas, you may also request an IEE for those assessment areas.
This video from Your Special Education Rights does a great job of explaining this process:
You get to choose the independent evaluator subject to the school’s requirements for assessors. You are not required to choose only from their list of approved assessors. Understand, however, that if the school district pays for the independent educational evaluation, they are entitled to see that evaluation even if you disagree with the results therein.
“FUND OR FILE”
Once the school district receives your IEE request, they must either FUND the independent assessments or FILE due process against YOU! Use your IEE request wisely. If you ask for too many independent assessments, you may increase the chances of a due process filing against you.
If you can afford to have your own private assessments done, or have insurance that will cover the assessments, you should have them done. Federal law requires school districts to consider private assessments.
How Do I Find An Independent or Private Evaluator?
We encourage you to find evaluators who are employed by a major children’s hospital that performs a high volume of epilepsy surgery each year. If you are unable to do so, we suggest you search for an evaluator here:
American Academy of Pediatric Neuropsychology – click here to search for a neuropsychologist in your area
North American Neuro-Opthamology Society – click here to search for a neuro-opthamologist in your area
American Academy of Audiologists – click here to search for an audiologist in your area. You should make sure to ask if they have equipment to test for central auditory processing disorders.
Academy of Neurologic Physical Therapists – we recommend that you first attempt to find a pediatric physical therapist in your area with a neurologic specialist certification. You can search at the American Physical Therapy Association – click here to search for a pediatric physical therapist in your area.
The assessments are arguably the most important part of the IEP process. Understand the various assessments that are needed. If you can afford to pay for any assessment to be performed by a private evaluator, this is where to spend your money. Be sure to ask the private evaluator to include intervention strategies and recommendations for the supplementary aides and services your child should have at school.
Take a moment to watch these webinars presented by Audrey Vernick, our Director of Education Advocacy and Training. These webinars from the Family Voices of California are intended to provide information to help parents and professionals advocate for special education programs and services for children after brain surgery.