If you or someone you know thinks your child may have a disability and needs special education or related services to be involved in and make progress in school, then an evaluation for special education eligibility may be appropriate.
The federal Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP) recently posted a response to a letter on the topic of Individual Educational Evaluations (IEEs) and dismissing a student from special education. The question was whether the child must continue to receive services while an IEE was being completed, if the school agreed to provide an IEE. The response is that the school could elect to continue services, but was not required to. However, the letter points out that if a request for a due process hearing is made, “the child involved in the complaint must remain in his or her current educational placement, [...]
The school evaluated my child and I don’t agree with the results. What can I do? Will I have to pay for another evaluation? Who will do the evaluation? If you disagree with the school district’s evaluation and/or recommendations, you have the right to request an Independent Educational Evaluation (IEE) at the school district’s expense. […]
The school must take steps to ensure that parents are present at each ARD/IEP meeting or are afforded the opportunity to participate, including notifying them of the meeting early enough to ensure that they will have an opportunity to attend and scheduling the meeting at a mutually agreed upon time and place. The school must allow parents who cannot attend to participate in the meeting through other methods such as telephone calls, or video conferencing.
What is an IEE? The language regarding IEEs is found in the regulations implementing IDEA. Specifically, the right to an IEE is defined as: “A parent has the right to an independent educational evaluation at the public expense if the parent disagrees with an evaluation obtained by the public agency. However, the public agency may initiate a hearing under Reg, 300.506 of this subpart to show that its evaluation is appropriate. If the final decision is that the evaluation is appropriate, the parent still has the right to an independent educational evaluation, but not at the public expense.” (34 CFR. Part [...]
It is part of federal law that students with special needs should have their strengths identified and described in their IEPs (IDEA 2004 Section 1414(d)(3)(A)). And yet, when I search the special education literature online, I find virtually nothing dedicated to identifying strengths in these students. If a student is having difficulty in school, what they need is to have adults around them who see the very best in them, not just their deficits, disorders, and dysfunctions. I’ve created an informal 165-item strength-based checklist in my book “Neurodiversity in the Classroom: Strength-Based Strategies to Help Students with Special Needs Succeed in School [...]