Eligibility: CAN SPECIAL ED TESTING BE DONE BY A SOCIAL WORKER?

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Rachel:  Is it legally okay for a School Social Worker or Special Ed Teacher to complete testing and write a report? The School Psychologist would then review the results and determine the eligibility category.
Would that be okay, or do you have another suggestion?

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3 Comments on "Eligibility: CAN SPECIAL ED TESTING BE DONE BY A SOCIAL WORKER?"

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Yes, it is legal. Social workers are an invaluable part of a comprehensive school evaluation/IEP team. Social workers are trained to evaluate social/emotional
/behavioral concerns and they can write reports on their findings. Many school nurses are trained as well. Many school counselors do classroom observations and write the reports. Classroom teachers/special education teachers can also give academic tests including the WJ IV (a B level test) and report on the findings. Parents can also contribute to the report and complete testing protocols. The tests that must be given by School Psychologists are C level tests- of which the IQ test is the most well known. The School Psych then reviews all the information, compiles the reports, and the team meets.

If this is the comprehensive special ed evaluation that schools conduct before determining if a child is eligible for special ed, the answer is no. Social workers are not trained to evaluate. School evaluators include psychs, SLPs, OTs, PTs, reading specialists, audiologists, etc.

Observations are an essential part of any eval. If the psych doesn’t test the child, s/he won’t have information gained from the observation.

In our book, All About Tests and Assessments, Chapter 2 is about School Evaluations. This chapter will answer your questions about what the school must test, who can test, etc. (pg 16-17).

My understanding is that a school psychologist does an evaluation unless the testing is specific like reading or writing in which case a reading or writing specialist should be used. I would question this and request and answer in writing. If you child is on an IEP request a prior written notice explaining why they are doing this.

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