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Independent Evaluations: Should parents provide a copy for the school?

by Pete Wright

I have just a short time to post today – I have a flight to MO this afternoon for the conference being held in the Jefferson City area on Thursday.

I did want to respond to a question from a public school speech language therapist who attended one of our conferences earlier this year.

This SLP finds herself in the position of being torn between the fear of retaliation from her employer and the desire to advocate for her student’s rights.

The school still uses the discrepancy model and the intervention team has refused to evaluate a five year old.

While hoping to keep her job, this school therapist took a “leap of faith” as she called it. She advised the mother to get an independent evaluation.

The mom requested a meeting to discuss the results of the evaluation – and the school psychologist asked for the parent to provide a copy of the report, before they will even agree to the meeting.

Should the parent provide the evaluation report to the school?

My answer is yes.

I recommend that when parents obtain private evaluations, they share them with the school district prior to a meeting.

If the school administration wants to fight and does not have the report in advance, then fight time will simply be delayed, to the detriment of the child.

If the school administration wants to provide services, then there will not be a delay.

At the same time, if a Judge was to review the history later, the Judge would wonder why a parent would withhold this report in advance of a meeting.

I tell parents to get a copy of new school evaluations in advance of meeting. The same standard should apply here. The parent should provide a copy of the independent evaluation to the team in advance.

Thanks to this therapist for being there and looking out for the parent and child’s rights.


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26 Comments on "Independent Evaluations: Should parents provide a copy for the school?"


I obtained a neuropsychological evaluation for my 4 year old daughter, prior the start of pre-school. The evaluation indicated, ADHD, Developmental Delays, behavior control. As the first evaluation, is the school required to accept this and provide services based on this IEE?


After my involvement of 43 years in the school system, the school system still fights with parents over their rights to ask for evaluations and decisions that need to be made for their child. They have never realized that their salaries are paid for by the parents.


Lyn – You mentioned being a Due Process and being afraid that IEE won’t be done before the hearing. I’ve been there 2x. My advise – explain to the Hearing Officer and ask that the hearing be postponed until the IEE is completed as it is relevant. This can be done through an order or your can request leave from the hearing process for this purpose. The other option is to withdraw your hearing request and then refile when the IEE is done. I know it is a bummer but you want everything available at that hearing. Some HO’s are flexible, others are only flexible when it meets their needs – try with the HO first, then you’ll have record that you tried/didn’t file frivolously (District can try to make you pay their Atty fees for this reason) and if all else fails withdraw. Also request HO to step in with getting records from the District


We have been asking for an eval. for several (3) IEP meetings and it is not forthcoming, we are being stone-walled. Our child was diagnosed 3 times. 2nd grade as Bi-polar, 7th grade as Autistic-hi function/aspergers and now over half thru 8th grade as Bipolar.
We are more than confused as services vary for differing diagnosis. Is Wrights Law still a resource for us, if not where. There seems to be no help group/service in my area and money is an object. Thanks, Ken

Sharon L.

Jennifer – You do not have to use a neuro psych that the school recommends. First of all they must give you a list of people that you can use for the outside evaluation. We requested an outside evaluation for our son who has dyslexia and the school gave us a list of people we could go to. We chose a person who our attorney recommended and the testing was exactly what we needed to get the school to hire a specific tutor that actually taught my son to read. The school must consider the results of the outside test but are not required to use it. Most of the time there is a compromise.