Independent Educational Evaluation (IEE): DENYING REQUEST FOR IEE, 2E SUSPECTED DYSLEXIC CHILD

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Catie:  Can a 2e elementary school child with suspected dyslexia (after much testing and therapies that have only helped with coping – finally got to the answer) be turned down for an IEE post local screening? Plenty of tests from private professionals over recent years – but interpretation of results hasn’t been the best. Hearing from school that unless a student is underperforming (we help her with her work at home, have to read all her take home books for her – and they know this) – then it is pointless to get an IEE, since if she’s at or above grade level performance, she won’t get services.

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Morning

Each parent takes a different approach. The IEE opened the door for my child and the school district to help but I took some matters into my own hands once I was told about brain plasticity by tenured advocates. That gave me hope and my own plan. I was also told by tenured advocates not to expect the Cadillac of services but to collaborate with the district. We did a lot at home to supplement at our expense but it was worth it as well as extracurricular activities to promote confidence. I did NOT rely on school systems to remediate. I wanted my child’s brain to experience remediation beyond the classroom. My young adult is happily entering the last years of college with a passion for reading. The brain is amazing. My approach was outside the box.

Susan

I lhelp NJ parents navigate the SPED system based on training given by our PTIC. There’s a trend in NJ where parents will request an IEE (following a school evaluation) and the school simply refuses to provide it. This places the entire burden on parents both to file AND to prove that the school’s evaluation is insufficient. Schools use this strategy quite successfully to avoid their responsibilities under IDEA: they know the majority of parents are not educated about the law or their rights, don’t have the means to hire lawyers & experts, are overwhelmed by the concept of entering into a legal action, and will most likely give up when faced with such a dilemma. So now what?

miller

I find that advocates routinely request IEE’s just because, even when the school system has done a comprehensive evaluation that describes the child very well. School systems should be pushing back if they have qualified school psychologists doing thorough evaluations. Imagine the poor child having to go through several hours of testing a second time (only for results to come back the same). IEE’s should be the exception (for those cases where clearly the school system was wrong) and not the rule.

Chuck

In TX the rule is that if the parent asks for an IEE, the school must agree or request a due process hearing to defend their evaluation. But in other situations, if the parent requests a hearing, the burden of proof is on the parent.

Susan

The regulations in NJ are the same: schools have only 2 choices: either provide the IEE or request due process. What I’m saying is that schools are ignoring the regulations and this is a trend here.

Jill G

Catie –

Unless your state law says otherwise, you would be eligible for a publicly-funded independent evaluation for your child ONLY if the school completed an evaluation or reevaluation under IDEA that you disagree with. If such conditions are met and the school denies your request, the school MUST either provide the IEE or request a due process hearing.

At any time, you can get an independent evaluation at private expense. The school’s assertion that a student will not be eligible for special education if he/she is working at or above grade level is false. A good independent evaluation will be helpful if you plan to fight a finding on ineligibility.

catie

We definitely disagree; they have sent us to due process. In their evaluation, they referenced our private testing, but misrepresented it. With a 2e kid, getting a good private eval has been difficult. I’ve recently informally talked to one of the best testers in our area who told me it looks like our private testers did a poor interpretation of data, and suggested I get one of our testers/psych to interpret the others’ data and give a more accurate diagnosis based on all results. It’s hard to find a good tester for dyslexia for a 2e kid. Does an IEE have to be all new tests, or can they rely, at least to some degree, on raw data from other tests less than one year old? Our experienced OG tutor is certain it’s dyslexia – affects my child’s word retrieval too.

Morning

I am looking forward to see the responses on this. At one point, I was told by an advocate to not help my child at home and allow the child to fail at school to activate services, IEE, etc. I refused as such would have been detrimental to my child. Children know when they are not learning. Instead, the school district finally did the right thing with IEE, etc. Regardless of the school districts efforts, I still used outside resources which supplemented school remediation. Also,I used art, town sports, etc. to also build self esteem. I was not going to depend on a school district that had previously failed my child to fully remediate. My child is doing quite well now.

catie

OP here. Yes, using outside services. Given the extent of the need we see, it would be great if they also had services in the school to help as well. At a min., it would help them get to know her better. She has a 504 for ADD, but they don’t always follow. They think she’s just quiet, slow and afraid of making mistakes, but we know better.
They didn’t offer or mention the possibility of an IEE at the local screening; surprising since pretty obvious we disagreed with their evaluation under IDEA. They have sent us to due process. I do know they give services to older 2e kids in the AAP program, but have no idea if they are performing below grade level or not. I had an advocate advise me to not give ADD meds in advance of SOL testing (VA.) – they often offer services if fail those.