Consent: REVOKING CONSENT FOR IQ TESTING

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Rose:  A parent signed “agree” at an ARD meeting for a Cognitive-Intellectual Assessment and Dyslexia, Speech, OT, and Parent Training. A few day later she changed her mind about consenting to the Cognitive-Intellectual Assessment and now the school district is saying that if the parent revokes her consent for IQ testing that she is revoking consent for all of the assessments. Should she be forced to accept an IQ test if she doesn’t agree to it? What can she do?

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5 Comments on "Consent: REVOKING CONSENT FOR IQ TESTING"

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A parent can request or revoke any testing in writing. There is no ” all or nothing” testing requirement. I have requested testing for one of my children for reading and writing only and the school complied. At a different time with one of my other children I requested an OT evaluation and a behavior assessment.

There are valid reasons why some parents are afraid to have intellectual assessments of their children. If you work in special ed, you need to understand their fears. Parents worry that a low IQ score will have a negative impact on their child’s educational options. Sad to say, their fears are often justified.
The law provides several options to resolve parent-school disagreements – mediation, due process, state complaints, and a resolution session after a request for due process. A better strategy is often to request an informal meeting between the parent(s) and a team member who can listen, respectfully, to their concerns. Put yourself in the parent’s shoes. Do you understand their concerns. Resist the impulse to claim that there is a black-and-white answer. Your goal is simply to listen and (maybe) to problem-solve.

The federal special ed law does NOT require an all-or-nothing approach to evaluations. If you live in California, you may know that it is or was illegal to do intellectual evaluations on African-American students because a disproportionate number of these kids were labeled “retarded.” You need to check your state special ed regs to see what they say.

The federal special ed law places a high value on listening to parents’ concerns and working cooperatively with them. If you listen and sincerely want to help, most parents will recognize this. You and the parent may then be able to develop a solution to the problem. The solution may not require an intellectual evaluation RIGHT NOW.

To: Wrightslaw

Thank you for your post. To be clear, I want to reiterate that when I have encountered this situation in the past the guidance I have received from my district special ed director as well as Wisconsin’s Department of Public Instruction is to treat it in an all-or-nothing vein. So, this is what is being recommended in my state and district. It would be interesting to poll special ed directors (and/or state departments of ed) nationwide to get their take on the situation. My guess is there would be a wide variety of responses. If that’s the case, I’m sure I’m not the only one who would welcome additional information about this issue.

I am a school psychologist in Wisconsin. When I’ve encountered this situation in the past, guidance from my state department of public instruction as well as my district’s director of special education indicates that yes, when a parent provides consent for an evaluation they provide permission for the entire evaluation to occur (not individual tests). If a parent revokes their consent they are revoking consent for the entire evaluation. There is nothing in my state’s special education law that allows parents to pick and choose from a “menu” of assessment tools. It’s an all-or-nothing situation–either parents give consent for the ENTIRE evaluation, or refuse the ENTIRE evaluation. There is no middle ground of picking and choosing.

Is this an initial evaluation? Typically schools take the position that IDEA requires that they give a comprehensive battery of tests, which is true, so a withdrawal of consent effects all testing. In TX the definition of Dyslexia says that the child must have normal intelligence. I suggest communicating with the special ed office to try to reach some agreement or compromise that is acceptable to both parties. I work for the TX parent training & information center, so I may be able to be of some help to the parent. cnoe59@hotmail.com

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