I understand a multifactored evaluation provides valuable information about my child’s unique needs and the educational services he needs. How do I request this evaluation?
I have three children who are learning disabled. Each child needed a multifactored evaluation. So, three times we requested these evaluations.
Here is what we did.
1. If it is time for the 3-year evaluation, let the school do this testing so you can get the results. If you don’t, the school may argue that you wanted an outside evaluation and did not give them the chance to evaluate first. If you have the evaluation and you do not agree with it, then go to step 2.
2. Once you get the results of the school’s evaluation, request a DRAFT version of the report. Discuss the results with a professional (physician, therapist, etc).
3. Request that the school’s evaluation results list all scores as Grade Level Equivalents (GLE) so you can better understand where your child is. Be prepared for great resistance on this. When we got an outside evaluation, as a matter of standard practice, we always requested two things:
- grade level equivalents
To date the school’s multifactored evaluations (MFE) NEVER included grade level equivalents unless we requested it. Unless we requested recommendations, they were never included, except when the school wanted my son out of the program.
4. Send a request in writing to the school for the outside evaluation. Give the school 5 working days to respond. You do not have to give any reason except that you do not agree with the school’s findings. Request an outside evaluation at the school’s expense. I send a copy of my request to the special Ed director and the principal. I send one of the letters certified mail.
5. The school is supposed to send you an “exhaustive list” of places where you can get the outside evaluation done. You do not have to use anyone on this list. In fact, our attorney discouraged us from ever using anyone on the school’s list. We hired an expert in the area of our son’s disability. My youngest son is dyslexic. We hired a therapist whose expertise is dyslexia.
6. The school can refuse to pay for this outside evaluation and take you to court. This has never happened to me. I suspect that it is less expensive to pay for the test than to pay court expenses.
7. The first time we got an outside evaluation for our son we were amazed at the level of excellence of the report we received. It was easy to understand. There were pages and pages of excellent recommendations that were not unreasonable. The therapist who completed the test reviewed it in detail with us and agreed to meet with the school to discuss if necessary. The therapist may charge for this and the school is not obligated to pay her to be there in person.
8. Once the evaluation is completed, the school receives a copy of the report and a bill. The school pays the bill. The school is required to consider the results of the outside evaluation but they are not required to incorporate it.
9. We have found that the schools have incorporated almost all of the items on the outside evaluation into the IEP.
10. If you request what the evaluator recommends and the school refuses, they must give you a “prior written notice” to explain why they refuse.
Sharon Lutz (Sharon L.) of Ohio is a parent of 3 sons with learning disabilities (ADHD and Dyslexia). Sharon is an advocate for her sons and has 25 years of experience working with school districts and the IEP process. She is a member of the Learning Disability Association.
Sharon is happy to share her information with parents so that others can benefit from her experiences in advocating for her children.
She started a parent advocate group that was successful in sharing ideas and strategies as well and providing information to parents and the community.