How do I respond to this?


New Member
I'm also going to post this over on the Special Education board, but thought I might get a quicker response here. I just requested an evalation through the SD (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?

Wiped Out

Well-Known Member
Staff member
in my opinion it is not too young to have a multidisciplinary evaluation. I don't know that schools do these?

I would guess that the behavorial observation would be used to develop a Behavioral Intervention Plan (BIP). I don't know if that's enough to qualify for an IEP but to me if they are sending him home so much he needs one.

I'm sure others will be along soon who will know more. Hugs.


Active Member
Tigger is just now getting his first psychological evaluation (he's 8). I don't think it would have been valid any younger. By behavioral evaluation, I believe they will ask you a bunch of questions (like 10-15 pages worth) and they will watch you play with him and try to play with him themselves. This is typical in my experience.


Active Member
My kids were evaluated very young. easy child 2/difficult child 2 and difficult child 3 were only 4. They did a WPPSI test, which in each case was administered by a trained psychologist. In difficult child 3's case it was part of a multidisciplinary evaluation.

The WPPSI test was designed for pre-schoolers and early school years. It turned out to be invalid in difficult child 3's case because he did not have the expected language skills at that time, to be able to understand the questions.

easy child 2/difficult child 2 also did a Vineland Adaptive Skills test as well as a couple of others. She scored very high and on the basis of those results, was accelerated into school.

The School District may not want to/be equipped to administer a WPPSI. But a multidisciplinary assessment can be done at this age, and much younger. Be prepared to need to have it done over, when he's older, but you need assessment now in order to get on top of whatever is causing these problems. A behaviour assessment may give some useful information and I would accept their offer to do this, but for the really important potentially diagnostic information, I'd push for much more. The SD may not do it, though - you may have to go private.

I'm not familiar with your rules & regs, so get more info from your own schooling area.



Well-Known Member
Did you specifically request a psychological evaluation or just request a full evaluation? There are a variety of tests that can be included. However, it is important to keep in mind what your motivation is.

If your child is having difficulty academically, there may only be a few particular tests need to determine if he qualifies for an IEP and Special Education. If there are behavioral concerns as well, there are other tests and questionairs for you.

Having said that, it appears the main concern is behavioral. Usually the school will hold a "child study" meeting (or whatever it is called in your district) to do a Functional Behavioral Analysis. This is a questionair for all those who have contact with your child, including yourself, to fill out. It tries to pinpoint triggers for behavior and recommend plans for "warding off" rages/behavior issues in the future. It also should include behavior goals and rewards.

Anytime you or the school requests testing on your son, the parent or guardian must sign off for each particular test. Irregardless of what "they typically recommend", you have the right to requests the tests you want. If you check over on the Special Education board, they can give you the specific reg if you want to quote it in your response. Good job on sending everything certified!

Good luck.

timer lady

Queen of Hearts
I cannot address the schools comment - I just don't know. However, one tweedle or the other have had evaluations from the age of 4 & up on an annual basis.

Each year things changed, new concerns popped out - others dropped off the scale.

It wasn't until age 9 or so that we saw consistent concerns on the neuropsychologist & psychological evaluations (& all the other various & sundry evaluations the tweedles have had). At that point, we had a fairly good idea of what their life long issues could/would be. We also learned what areas to really concentrate on in a milieu treatment plan.

Good luck sorting this out - hope we can help.


Well-Known Member
My son had an MDE at five. While they didn't "get" the right diagnosis. at that young an age, they certainly steered us in the right direction, including opening the door for school interventions (which your school obviously doesn't want to deal with). They said "autistic tendencies" and, in fact, he did end up with a Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD)-not otherwise specified diagnosis., so they were close. We then got a chance to push for our son to have Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) interventions, which have helped him enormously. I would get the MDE anyways, regardless of what the school recommends. in my opinion, they have their own reasons not to want him tested$$$$.