The Wrightslaw Way

to Special Education Law and Advocacy

The Wrightslaw Way random header image

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.


Print Friendly

Tags:   · · · 26 Comments

Leave a Reply

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

Notify of

10/03/2014 11:19 pm

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?

11/23/2013 7:36 am

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.

11/22/2013 6:29 pm

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… Read more »

03/19/2013 1:35 pm

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.
08/17/2011 10:53 pm

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… Read more »

08/14/2011 1:43 pm

Question regarding obtaining independent evaluations…
School will pay for neuropsych through their provider who does not specialize in possible FAS issues. How to get the school to pay for a qualified neuropsych we found???

04/26/2011 7:32 am

I’m working with a attorney through public legal services. The district is insisting my neuro-psychologist who did the comprehensive evaluation visit my son in the classroom because they disagree with the findings. My professional is 90 miles away from my school. The district is only willing to pay for 2 hours of professional time plus .51 p/m on travel. My professional says, its a full day commitment, she requires two hours professional time plus $400 for travel. The district states they can only pay 2 hrs professional and .51 on the mile. My… Read more »

Sharon L.
04/11/2011 8:03 pm

Independent Evaluations: Should parents provide a copy for the school? by Barbara
You would file the complaint with the state. I suggest that you have an attorney or qualified person help you with the complaint. I filed a complaint once, they disregarded it on a technicality, and I lost. Then I could not get anywhere with the school because they were angry that I filed it so it was waste of time. I am not telling you this to discourage you but to encourage you to get help from a qualified person who knows the ropes so you don’t miss… Read more »

04/09/2011 7:09 pm

I requested an IEE which the school paid for. However, the psychologist used test scores on my child’s IEP to determine my child has MR. My child has PDD-NOS but does not have MR. I obtained a private IEE for my child at a center that specializes with children on the spectrum.. It was concluded that my son has an ASD. My school district refuses to accept the findings and insist on going with the results from the IEE that they paid for. Can I file a formal complaint regarding the ethics of the… Read more »

01/27/2011 3:34 pm

As a school psych, I understand the burden of an unreasonable caseload mentioned previously by a school psychologist who posted on here. I am frequently working on reports mere days before the IEP. HOWEVER, when requested by a parent to receive a copy of the report in advance, I do whatever it takes to get them that report ahead of the IEP. Many parents appreciate having the time to look at the report and formulate questions and to process it. The reason I don’t provide reports in advance as a matter of course, is that best… Read more »

10/13/2010 4:10 pm

Does this apply to psychological/psychiatric evals? If the school says the child is a danger to herself/peers and the evaluation shows she is not but has other issues that the mother would rather not share with the school – Does the Mother have to provide a copy of the eval? School says yes before the child can return to school, they need a copy of the eval. Help… trying to help a friend and I’m stuck!

10/02/2009 1:02 pm

I know as a parent, I should be willing to share all evals and data prior to the IEP meeting. I have been in a dispute with our school for 3 yrs.
It wasn’t until January 2009, when he discussed suicidal ideation with a high school volunteer at recess, that the school took notice and put him on a 504 (which they did not implement the accommodations).
In Aug 2009, we had an independent eval. Among other issues, he is 5 years behind in fine motor (we asked for an OT eval in April 2009 – the team said… Read more »

08/17/2009 3:04 pm

I agree about sharing the IEE. When I advocate for parents I advise them to share the information so that the “Team” can make an informed decision about the student’s needs and appropriate remediation and intervention can be addressed. Down the line, you are right it can come back and bite the parents for not sharing, and a Judge would want to know why it was not shared. It has been to our advantage to share because ultimately it is what is appropriate for our child to learn.

08/11/2009 8:24 am

We are from Missouri, and we requested testing for our daughter, even though we suspected dyslexia and the school district only tests for reading disabilites (and uses the discrepancy model). We were denied testing so we had an independent evaluation that concluded classic dyslexia. We presented the testing (at the meeting-before school started), asked for the 504 accomodations and for the test results to be put in her cum file. They did not say they would put the testing in her file yet. I have strong feelings the request will be denied…preparing for worst, hoping for best.

02/18/2009 10:28 pm

what types of evaluations are recommended to determine progress, lack of progress or regression. Should these be independent evaluations, and how does one go about getting the school district to pay or compensate the parents for these?

11/06/2008 1:21 pm

I am going through a battle right now with my son’s school on getting a Independent Evaluation. My son has been tagged Intellectually Disabled since kindergarten and know he is in the 5th grade and very little improvement has been shown. I feel the teachers are just passing him to pass him. At the beginning of this school year, he came home with papers of work he had done in class and my son does not know how to spell the months of year or the days of the week. They gave him a 100%.… Read more »

07/03/2008 10:47 am

Regarding the difference between LMB and school testing: I just want to add a caveat here. I do agree that various tests the schools give often grade the students higher than what they actually do. Regarding LMB. They are highly respected for remediation and identification of reading problems. They are a private organization and need a profit.

As a special educator and reading specialist, I try and glean scores from a variety of testing instruments. Screenings that many special educators use, like the WRAT, are totally ineffecient to obtain an accurate reading score; and… Read more »

06/19/2008 10:00 am

The school psychologist stated that there is no legal mandate to provide a copy of the report before the team meeting. If a parent requests a copy prior to the IEP Meeting, yes, there is a legal mandate to provide a copy.

The psych eval is an education record. See 34 CFR 300.613(a) which states that if a parent requests those records, “The agency must comply with a request without unnecessary delay and before any meeting regarding an IEP. . .” There is no wiggle room on this such as poor time management practices by the school district. (That reg… Read more »

06/18/2008 5:08 pm

Some notes in regard to receiving psychoducational and other reports from the district in advance. As a school psychologist who serves over 2000 students and writes over 120 reports a year, I have to say that in most cases in which I do not provide a copy of my report when such a report is requested it is because it is not complete until the day (or shortly before) the meeting. I would add that there is no legal mandate for such a report to be provided BEFORE the team meets.

On the other hand, by not providing the team with… Read more »

06/13/2008 6:19 am

I have always shared any evaluations we obtained independently with the school. Unfortunately the courtesy has been refused to us. The “School Team” decided they needed to do their own observations to confirm (deny) my sons most recent diagnisis of Asperger’s. A speach and Language person did an assessment and the School Systems Autism person made some observations. I asked both of the ladies to please forward a copy of their report in advance of the meeting so that our time suring the meeting would be better used discussing the content not trying to read and… Read more »

05/28/2008 1:00 pm

I agree that the parent should provide the IEE.
Now here’s our problem concerning our IEE and IEP: [Background: Our son has been in Special Ed at our district since preschool He is now in 2nd grade.] We had our first meeting for his new IEP with the CST in January; afterward, because we recognized that our son had some dyslexic traits and was having trouble in school, we decided to have an IEE done since the district said they did not evaluate for dyslexia until 3rd grade.
We had an IEE done in February and provided the… Read more »

05/20/2008 10:28 am

What if a school does not do ALL of the evaluations needed to address ALL the disabilities of a child and/or only do “informal” evaluations? We have asked and received some IEEs (speech, OT and Ed. eval.), but it has not changed the remediation process or level of intervention (i.e., he is 1-3 SD in fine motor/gross motor, vestibular, auditory processing, language skills and academic skills,etc., BUT we only got on an “average” of less than 15 min. of “indirect” OT for the calendar year (510 hrs./yr.). He has been on Earobics for 2 yrs. and still cannot… Read more »

05/17/2008 8:30 pm

Can you request an IEE before the school has completed their testing? I am in due process and the school will not give us our son’s testing. We made an IDEA request for all testing that is and was being done for his trienniel last month. They said they are continuing the IEP and that the testing and reports are not done and they will not provide them to us. until they are complete.

We don’t know if we will have time for the IEE request or even the IEEs before we will be in hearing…They started his… Read more »

05/16/2008 1:26 pm

The parent was given reading scores that the school used to evaluate reading progress and progress with specific skills this year. The parent had the child tested privately at Lindamood Bell within weeks of the school evaluation. The scores are hugely different. The school says that the child is grade levels ahead of where the LMB says. (Age-14, 8th grade, reading at primary level)

The parent requested an IEE at an ESY meeting. The school Special services director denied it in the meeting and said that he would send prior written notice. He did.… Read more »

05/15/2008 7:00 pm

Yes! Kuddos to the educator who tipped the parent off! That made my day today. I hope the child received the services they needed.

05/13/2008 11:17 am

I totally agree with Pete, for all the reasons he stated. But I would add one more. If you want to be treated with respect, the best way to behave is in a respectful manner. Not a timid manner, just with respect. You freely share information about your child with the school and they should do that with you as well. Sometimes we parents must set a higher standard so that we are the example! Paula, Parent Mentor in Ohio