Special Education – How to Use an Independent Educational Evaluation to Benefit Your Child

Do you have a child with a learning disability or with autism that is
not making academic progress, even though they are getting special
education services? Would you like to know what educational and
related services your child needs in order to learn how to read, or do
other academics? This article will discuss what an Independent
Educational Evaluation (IEE) is, and how you can use one to benefit
your child with a disability.The definition of an Independent Education Evaluation (IEE) is:An independent educational evaluation is an evaluation conducted by a
qualified person, who does not work for the school district. Parents
of children with a disability often get IEE’s so that they understand
what educational needs their child has and what services they require.
Most independent evaluations are parent initiated and paid for by the
parent.Once you have decided to get an IEE, there are several things to
consider about the evaluator:a. Make sure that they are qualified to perform the educational
evaluation. For Example: a registered Occupational Therapist could
conduct an Occupational Therapy evaluation. If sensory processing
disorder (used to be called sensory integration disorder) is an issue,
make sure that you find a registered Occupational Therapist who is
SIPT certified. If your child has autism, make sure the evaluator
specializes in educational evaluations for children with all types of
autism.b. Whether this person is now, or ever has been an employee of
your school district. Talk to the person, and make sure that they do
not have a relationship with your school district. Be careful, even if
they used to work for another school district, make sure they are
truly independent, and willing to make recommendations for what your
child needs.c. Make sure that the evaluator is willing to write a detailed
report, to include recommendations for related and educational
services. Ask the evaluator if they are willing to recommend specific
amount of minutes of service and specific methodology for educational
and related services. If they are not, consider going to a different
evaluator.Once you have answered these questions, make an appointment and take
your child. Bring up any concerns that you have, and make sure that
you understand what tests will be conducted on your child. When the
report is finished, have the evaluator mail a copy to you. If you have
concerns about what is written, you may contact the evaluator and tell
them your concerns. Make sure recommendations are specific for
minutes, #of times per week, goals, methodology, etc.Call the school district and set up an IEP meeting to discuss the
results of the IEE. If they request a copy up front, you can give it
to them. If possible, set up with the evaluator, a time that she or he
can participate in the IEP meeting by telephone. By having the
evaluator participate, special education personnel will have a harder
time not including the evaluators recommendations.At the IEP meeting, if the school personnel will not put the
recommendations in your child’s IEP, they must give you prior written
notice (PWN), as to why they are not willing to accept, the evaluators
recommendations. This notice must include the reason that they are not
accepting the recommendations, and what evaluations they are using to
refuse. If at the IEP meeting the school personnel do include the
recommendations, ask for reimbursement of the independent educational
evaluation.An independent educational evaluation can be invaluable to your child.
By understanding what your child’s educational and related needs are,
you may be a more effective advocate, for needed educational and
related services. If your child does not receive an appropriate
education their future may be in jeopardy!