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Jaime:  What are my parental rights if I disagree with a diagnosis on a school psychiatric evaluation?

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Sharon L.

Send a letter to the special director (we usually send it certified mail) stating you disagree with the evaluation. You may or may not give an exact reason. You may request an outside evaluation and the school has to pay for it. The school will give you a list of places you can go for this but you do not have to use anybody on that list and can pick your own professional. Once it is done you may request an IEP meeting to go over the results. Don’t sign anything from the old IEP or evaluation form. The existing IEP will stay in place until a new one is signed. The school must consider the outside evaluation but are not forced to accept it. Usually you can come to an agreement but not always. We have found that an outside IEE has a lot of plusses and usually works out for the best.

Jill G

Jaime –

You have a right to request an independent evaluation at public expense. You can also obtain an independent evaluation at your own expense, and provide the results to the school. In either circumstance, your child’s IEP Team would have to consider the results but does not necessarily have to adopt them.

If you take issue with the written results even being within your child’s record, you have the right to request that they be omitted from your child’s record. You also have the right to submit information disputing the results, and have it saved within the record.

Your local parent center can help you understand these rights and how to request them (