An evaluation is required before your child can receive any special education services in school. Most of the time, your child’s evaluation will be performed by a psychologist or a similar professional associated with the school. However, at times, you may wish to have a private evaluation performed to gain a better understanding of your child’s needs. You may need to pay for this evaluation yourself. Because this evaluation is a bit different from the evaluation your child may have already received at school, it is smart to know more about it so that both you and your child can feel prepared for the experience.
A private evaluation is sometimes called an IEE or Independent Educational Evaluation. Even if the school district does not request or require it, you are always allowed to seek an evaluation from an outside source. However, you should be aware that you may not always be required to pay for it. For example, if your school district does not have the resources to provide their own evaluations or if the district believes it requires outside testing, it will typically agree to pay for it. In fact, you can always request an independent evaluation paid through public expense. The school district will be required to pay at this point unless it begins a due process hearing.
Next, you should be aware that there are a variety of types of special needs evaluations depending on the concerns that you or the school district has with your child. In some cases, your child may need to go through additional achievement testing to determine scholastic placement. Other tests could include those that measure your child’s intelligence, reasoning, and memory. However, some children do not have issues with academic achievement but instead struggle with social skills or motor skills. The testing professional may perform speech tests or other hands-on tests for measuring gross and fine motor movement.