Independent Education Evaluations

“Independent Educational Evaluations (IEEs) are your most important tool for ensuring that your child’s education program addresses every aspect of his or her disability. Before you begin this process you must determine the level and manner of special education therapy services provided by your school district. Remember that school districts are businesses first: to stay within their budget they will only administer the specific evaluations that will recommend the services they already provide. Once you give them permission to do so, the district then has 2 months to complete the evaluation. If you don’t agree with the results of the district evaluations you will be encouraged to request an Independent Educational Evaluation (IEE) at the school district’s expense, which usually takes another 2-3 months to complete. Keep in mind, however, that this option limits you to choosing from a very short list of evaluators and evaluations, again chosen by the school districts to recommend the services they already provide. That leaves you 4 or 5 months into the school year without services for your child. Fortunately, with a bit of planning you can work around all of this quite nicely. Remember that school districts are only required to provide educational services to address specific levels of disability; which don’t always correspond with specific diagnoses. This means you have to break down your child’s diagnosis into the component areas of development for each level of disability: receptive &/or expressive speech development, sensory processing development, balance &/or movement development, neurological development, social &/or emotional development, etc., etc. As soon as you have any concerns about your child ask your pediatrician to refer your child for a full range of child developmental testing at the nearest Children’s Hospital. Since these evaluations are often scheduled 6 to 9 months in advance, make sure you schedule these before you schedule the district evaluations. This way you already have your IEE appointment scheduled if you disagree with the district evaluations, and you can always cancel them if you agree with the district evaluations. Private independent educational evaluations covered by your own health insurance are the only way you’ll be able to guarantee that every aspect of your child’s disability is evaluated, while ensuring that the evaluation you receive is absolutely unbiased and thorough. IEEs that meet your health insurance plan coverage standards meet and often exceed the school district criteria for evaluations and evaluators.”