How should I respond to this?

Discussion in 'Special Ed 101' started by rhiannon163, Apr 12, 2007.

  1. rhiannon163

    rhiannon163 New Member

    I just requested an evalation through the school district (sent certified mail and email) and I got this response from the head of pupil services (whatever that means, I don't know).

    We typically do not recommend a psychological evaluation for
    children so young, due to validity concerns. We feel that a behavioral observation would give us more accurate information. Please let me know what your other concerns are, so we can request the appropriate evaluations (academic, speech and language, occupational therapy, physical therapy, ADD and
    Executive Functioning).

    I don't know how to respond to this. First of all, is her statement about validity concerns with psychiatric evaluations true? I've never heard that before. My difficult child is 6. And isn't the whole point of a multidisciplinary evaluation to test all the areas that she mentions? Is it normal for the parent to have to request each separate test? The school has started sending him home because they can't handle his oppositional defiant behavior (twice so far). What is a behavioral observation? Is that enough to decide whether he qualifies for an IEP?
     
  2. Martie

    Martie Moderator

    No it is not. The 2004 revision of IDEA allows observational data to supplement but not replace the evaluation that is required by statute.

    Here is a link to the evaluation criteria as stated in law. As you will see, it is quite inclusive. While a psychological evaluation is not specifically required, it is almost without exception done initially, except in cases where the only issue is speech and language.

    This is at 20 U.S.C. § 1414 et seq This is a very good section of the law to study carefully. The reference I made in the first paragraph is the the published regs stating that RTI data may be used but not substituted for an evaluation as provided by 1414

    http://www.wrightslaw.com/idea/law/section1414.pdf

    Remember to send everything certified and start a very good filing system---you are going to need one.

    I wish this were easier for parents but it usually is not---and when it comes to advocacy, the child whose parent is effective is the child who gets needed services.

    Martie
     
  3. Sheila

    Sheila Moderator

    Take all, part of none of the following:


    Dear Mr/Mrs. Special Education Director:

    In response to my request for evaluation dated ____, I received the following reply from Ms. Pupil Services: We typically do not recommend a psychological evaluation for children so young, due to validity concerns. We feel that a behavioral observation would give us more accurate information. Please let me know what your other concerns are, so we can request the appropriate evaluations (academic, speech and language, occupational therapy, physical therapy, ADD and Executive Functioning).

    We don't know what is causing difficult child's problems in school and feel that more than observation is needed to sort things out, hence, the full and initial evaluation request and my confusion by the reply. Information available to me from the US Department of Education pertinent to IDEA 2004, Part B for children between the ages of 3 to 21 appears to conflict with XISD's email.

    We want the evaluation(s) to be performed in accordance with IDEA regs. I didn't read anything that said difficult child is to young for the evaluation(s). Am I reading in the wrong place? If so, can you provide the correct federal or state regulations pertinent to a 6 year old being too young for the evaluation requested?

    Sincerely,

    Mom


    Ditto Certified Mail

    You should also be aware that school districts are only required to evaluate in "suspected" areas of disability. Although co-existing conditions are the norm rather than the exception and the fact that your child has been diagnosed with Anxiety should trigger a lot of "suspects," it won't. A Parent Report is a useful tool to help them with this aspect of the process.


     
  4. Martie

    Martie Moderator

    Good letter--and it is also one of Sheila's fine tactics to ask THEM for the citation (however, you should have read it independently.)

    If you are using the above letter, it should be "too young" in the last paragraph.

    Martie
     
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