Letter to the Editor: Your child’s education


Every child deserves to receive an Independent Educational Evaluation (IEE) paid for by their school district for their child. Federal regulations state unequivocally that parents of a child with a disability have a right to obtain an IEE. 34 C.F.R. 300.502(a). An IEE is not limited to evaluating only a child’s academic and cognitive skills. Evaluations that fall under IDEA’s federal regulations include, but are not limited to adapted physical education, sensory needs, behavior, aquatics, music therapy, PT, OT, speech, ACC, feeding therapy, etc. Parents can obtain an IEE for virtually any purpose if it impacts a child’s education. Here’s the thing, though, this is a one time deal for all assessments and you can certainly ask for multiple assessments in this one time deal. 

Here are some common missteps by school districts that impact a child receiving an IEE: Districts often provide a specific dollar amount that is often written in their school policies, along with specific distance parameters, ignore the request, and specific assessors used. This is against federal regulations. The public agency must set criteria under which an IEE can be obtained at public expense, including the location of the evaluation and the qualifications of the examiner, which must be the same as the criteria the public agency uses when it initiates an evaluation, to the extent those criteria are consistent with the parent’s right to an IEE. 34 CFR §300.502(e)(1). Other than establishing these criteria, a public agency may not impose conditions or timelines related to a parent obtaining an IEE at public expense. See §300.502(e)(2).

The most common assessment that should be provided and requested is the Behavior Rating Inventory of Executive Function (BRIEF). The majority of learning disabilities are neurodevelopmental diagnoses that affect executive function. There are a host of others that should be provided, however, due to word limits for this piece, I wanted to provide the most crucial. 

Also, finding a skilled assessor that uses updated assessments, including advanced educational knowledge can be difficult, so research thoroughly. 

Dotti Howe