Refusal to Evaluate

Discussion in 'Special Ed 101' started by Lexilou, Aug 29, 2007.

  1. Lexilou

    Lexilou New Member

    With school fast approaching I'm remembering all the aggravation I had last year when my son was in kindergarten. Everyone is saying that a school can't refuse an evaluation. but that is exactly what they did to us twice. We did everything correctly, in writing. Met with the child study team where they promptly dismissed our concerns. I requested prior written notice which they did send to me. They say there is no reason to evaluate him. I am not completely in the dark about things as I worked in Special Education. for 6 years. But since they just flat out refused I don't know what my next step is-should I get an advocate? I know things will go downhill quickly once he starts school,especially since he will now be there a full day. Some of the behavior problems at school are-not staying in seat,interrupting others,running around the classroom, jumping off chairs,demanding constant attention from the teacher and the worst is his hitting other kids. These are all complaints I have gotten from the teacher. As far as academically I see alot of problems as well. He is probably the oldest kid in his class as he turns 7 right after school starts. He does not recognize about 1/2 of the alphabet,can't identify numbers after 9, can only count to about 20, cannot read AT ALL, and can't even write his namecorrectly since they introduced lowercase letters. The teacher says this is acceptable, I tend to disagree.
    What should I do?HELP!
  2. SnowAngel

    SnowAngel New Member

    I to went through the refusal for an evaluation.One of my boys was tested at school but had to high IQ they said to qualify.They refused to test my youngest based on his brothers IQ.I wrote requests and submitted them to the school district and school teacher,principal and Special Education dept.I also had my sons psychiatrist and therapist request testing as well.They have started the testing.Not sure this helps but it is trial and error.
  3. Sheila

    Sheila Moderator

    It'll help if we know if the refusal was put in writing from the school district to you. If it was verbal, it is a non-compliance issue.

    From US Dept of Education (Fed Regs)

    "…If, however, the public agency does
    not suspect that the child has a
    disability and denies the request for an
    initial evaluation, the public agency
    must provide written notice to the
    parents, consistent with § 300.503(b)
    and section 615(c)(1) of the Act, which
    explains, among other things, why the
    public agency refuses to conduct an
    initial evaluation and the information
    that was used as the basis to make that
    decision. The parent may challenge
    such a refusal by requesting a due
    process hearing, but the timeline for
    conducting the evaluation does not
    begin prior to parental consent for

    Comment: A few commenters
    recommended that the regulations
    clarify whether a public agency has the
    right to deny a parent’s request for an
    initial evaluation.
    Discussion: The regulations are
    sufficiently clear on this point. Section
    300.503(a), consistent with section
    615(b)(3) of the Act, provides that a
    public agency may refuse to initiate or
    change the identification, evaluation, or
    educational placement of the child, or
    the provision of FAPE to the child, if the
    public agency provides written notice.
    This includes situations in which a
    public agency wishes to deny a parent’s
    request for an initial evaluation. The
    written notice must meet the
    requirements in § 300.503(b). Thus, for
    situations in which a public agency
    wishes to deny a parent’s request for an
    initial evaluation, the written notice
    would provide, among other things, an
    explanation of why the public agency
    refuses to conduct an initial evaluation
    and the information that was used to
    make that decision. A parent may
    challenge the public agency’s refusal to
    conduct an initial evaluation by
    requesting a due process hearing."

    I recommend that you send another request using the format at It is VERY IMPORTANT to stay off the phone and send the letter via certified mail.

    You can edit out the Parent Report info and submit it at a later date. It's important to retitle it Parent Input. They must consider "parent input" in the evaluation.

    If you have notes from the teachers regarding behavior, hang on to them. If you don't have a log of contacts from the school (formal or informal), start one. It's more common than you may think for teachers to beg a parent for help, but their hands are tied by the district, and when you get into a meeting all comments are rosy, just "typical behavior," etc. You may need documentation to counter such school district maneuvers.

    With this school district, you're probably going to need documentation. It's best to work on the premise that "if it's not in writing, it didn't happen." In the event you have to file a Complaint or go to Due Process, documentation will come in handy.

    Finding a good advocate is a great idea.

    Welcome to the site!
  4. nvts

    nvts Active Member

    Hey Lexilou...told ya they were awesome on the SE101 forum!

  5. SnowAngel

    SnowAngel New Member

    If you are going to file a complaint or take action legally you will want to document everything.Who you talked to,when,what time,copies of letters or e-mails.Keeping a journal of these things helped get the ball rolling as I informed the school of my records of trying to get him help.I wish you the best of luck.
  6. Lexilou

    Lexilou New Member

    Thanks for sending me over here nvts!
    They did give us a refusal to evaluate in writing and we checked off the "Do Not Agree with Recommendation" box.
    I have learned the hard way to get everything in writing-even refusing to speak to the teacher when she had a complaint(it was EVERY day) and telling her to put it in writing and send it home with him. I have tons of documentation also. Im going to check out those sites right now. Thanks for the help!
  7. Martie

    Martie Moderator

    It is a very good idea to ask for the teacher's complaints in writing becuse when you have a large stack (of both academic and behavioral issues), when you request an evaluation pert the regs. Sheila gave to you, then will have no reason to refuse.

    I am very leary of suggesting parents go to Due Process but "refusal to evaluate" in the face of school district produced evidence by the teacher is a pretty easy parent win. Most hearing Officers do not take kindly to a school district that will not even "look."

    At a minimum, you need a good on-site advocate to request a DP hearing.

    Half the expense of DP is borne by the school district, so there is some incentive for them evaluate when they strongly suspect they will lose.