School assessment question


Active Member
As a brief summary, last year difficult child was on an IEP for ED- at the time he had diagnosis of depression and disruptive conduct not otherwise specified. He was on prozac, relatively stable, and doing pretty well in school. Then, in winter he started having problems again and showing other signs at home. psychiatrist increased prozac, but sd had already had enough and put difficult child on long term suspension then they wanted him to go to a special behavior scool, which I refused. The weekend after that difficult child goes on crime spree and racks up 7 charges in about 1 1/2 to 2 hrs. psychiatrist then decided difficult child was bipolar. I appealed the long term suspension and sd agreed to review IEP before school started this year. We had the meeting but the written IEP only included monitoring and reporting his behavior so I wouldn't sign it. I wrote a letter stating a few minor accommodations I thought should be included so they said we'd have another meeting. When I show up to that one, they agreed to the accommodations but had a social worker and educational specialist there who said she wanted to assess my difficult child hersself and asked for my permission. I signed that IEP and said I'd think about the sd assessment. (We had been going on the report from private neuropsychologist. testing I had done about 18 mos. ago.)

I emailed educ. spec. later and said I'd agree and would welcome her suggestions for a more effective IEP, however, the diagnosis and overall treatment should be done by the private people I have involved. (I have arranged to have difficult child evaluation. by specialist here in Oct. to get another set of eyes reviewing the bipolar question.) The Educ. spec. emailed back and said she wanted to do a psychiatric evaluation on him and this would mean that eligibility would be reviewed again, but she thought everyone knew he had issues so that probably wouldn't be a problem. She said they would need to have another IEP meeting to decide all components she should assess and that if I couldn't attend, I could sign an agreement afterwards. Now, my bro is filing for custody of my difficult child which means he's trying to prove that difficult child's issues are a result of living with me. The sd doesn't want to accept the private diagnosis because it means they need to make accommodations. I understand they haven't directly seen all the symptons and have never done their own assessment, but there are people over there who made it clear to me that they think difficult child is smart, manipulative, and knows right from wrong, and they think he's in control of all his behavior and should just be punished more.

I want the IEP eligibility based on the diagnosis from psychiatrists and other private specialists. they know more about the symptons that come out at home and things my difficult child has told them in confidence. I would be fine with sd's assessment for IEP strategies and to provide private docs with- the sd's perspective. Is there a way to achieve this without leaving the door open for sd to say they see nothing wrong with difficult child- I just need to punish him more- then my difficult child won't qualify for IEP and my bro will use this info for custody hearing?


Private or school district evaluation reports can recommend IEP eligibility and the IEP team can deny eligibility. Likewise, an evaluation can be written to say a student doesn't qualify for an IEP and the IEP team can deem the student eligible anyway if they feel s/he falls into one of the eligibility categories.

A school district can accept a private evaluation report in total, or they can request to perform their own. A private evaluation does have to be considered by the school district.

300.300 addresses Parental Consent

(c) Parental consent for reevaluations.

(1) Subject to paragraph (c)(2) of this section, each public agency--

(i) Must obtain informed parental consent, in accordance with Sec. 300.300(a)(1), prior to conducting any reevaluation of a child with a disability.

(ii) If the parent refuses to consent to the reevaluation, the public agency may, but is not required to, pursue the reevaluation by using the consent override procedures described in paragraph (a)(3) of this section.

(iii) The public agency does not violate its obligation under Sec. 300.111 and Sec. Sec. 300.301 through 300.311 if it declines to pursue the evaluation or reevaluation.

(2) The informed parental consent described in paragraph (c)(1) of this section need not be obtained if the public agency can demonstrate that--

(i) It made reasonable efforts to obtain such consent; and

(ii) The child's parent has failed to respond.

(d) Other consent requirements.

(1) Parental consent is not required before--

(i) Reviewing existing data as part of an evaluation or a reevaluation; or

(ii) Administering a test or other evaluation that is administered to all children unless, before administration of that test or evaluation, consent is required of parents of all children.

(2) In addition to the parental consent requirements described in paragraph (a) of this section, a State may require parental consent for other services and activities under this part if it ensures that each public agency in the State establishes and implements effective procedures to ensure that a parent's refusal to consent does not result in a failure to provide the child with FAPE.

(3) A public agency may not use a parent's refusal to consent to one service or activity under paragraphs (a) or (d)(2) of this section to deny the parent or child any other service, benefit, or activity of the public agency, except as required by this part....

(Authority: 20 U.S.C. 1414(a)(1)(D) and 1414(c))

If you decide to consent to the reevaluation and do not agree with it, keep in mind that you can request an IEE.

Re your brother and custody issues, your child's records are confidential. The sd should not discuss anything with them or provide documents without your consent. His attorney would have to subpoena info from the school district.


New Member
I was reading your post and had a couple of questions.

1. Where was your son being educated while he was on long term suspension? Did you ever have a manifestation meeting with the SD with yourself and your son represented?

2. Why did you refuse the special behavior school? Was it distance, program, or ?...

3. Does the current IEP have a BIP? If not, is this new evaluation a functional behavior assessment to help develop a BIP?

4. In order for a student to be on an IEP there must be specially designed instruction (SDI) With the diagnosis listed, I can see where your difficult child needs SDI in the area of behavior which would be why the teacher would be monitoring and reporting behavior in order to collect data for SDI. What other areas were on the IEP? What other areas does he currently qualify in? Based on your information, it's hard for me to see where else the school would be able to provide support. If he doesn't receive SDI in any other areas then I can easily see where a school would write a loose behavior management goal in order to keep an IEP accommodations in place.

5. It would not be unusual for a school to request a re-evaluation when the most recent one is from 18 months ago. In pediatric terms, 12 months can be huge. The school district cannot change a medical diagnosis, they can change an eligibility category - which really means squat when it comes to an IEP. The only eligibility category really does is ensure that a student has a documented disability of some sort.


Active Member
Babbs, I'll try answering your questions for the second time (I've been having computer problems). Here goes-

1)There was a manif. hearing where sd said his behavior was more impulsive during last incident so it wasn't related to ED- I had them put in writing that I did not agree. He was labeled "habitual offender" and officially put on homebound. They actually never got it together enough to provide homebound but on paper it looked like they had met their obligation. I appealed the habitual offender status and homebound and they removed them both.

2) When I looked into the school they wanted to send him to and talked with people familiar with it, I found it was a school where kids really were out of control and not recieving effective rehabilitative or therapuetic help. I found that only about 20% of students ever return to mainstream and apparently, these were the ones whose parents went the legal route to make it happen. Knowing that there is another school around here that has several professionals in place who work with the students in a team effort and has about 80% return to mainstream (even if they still needed spec. ed) after approx. 2 years, it appeared to me that the school the sd proposed was basicly a place where they send the kids when they want rid of them.

3) The principal wanted to wait until the first mid-term marking period to write the BIP. I had pointed out to them this summer that the Functional Behavior Assessment was suppoosed to be done by a special trained, qualified person - not the VP like they did last year. Also, difficult child's diagnosis and medications were re-evaluated and changed this summer so I agreed to this.

4) The loose behavior goals might be related to waiting to confirm what issues he's going to have this year- but, there are some people over there who seem to have a problem accepting that difficult child is not in control as much as they believe because they have said "he is in control of everything he does because he's smart". How do you get any of them motivated and willing to read The Explosive Child?

5) Yes, I agree with having difficult child re-evaluation. - I have been trying since March to have this done privately and currently have an appointment. in a few weeks. The school knew this because a teacher completed the Teacher Report form (or whatever its called) this summer. A psychiatric and attny had told me before that if a parent can find the resources, private testing is preferable than sd testing. This is because you minimize risk of sd bias and private will usually look at whole picture (all settings, including school) more than sd testing to determine underlying problems and recommended approach to dealing with them.

Fortunately, the sd agreed to put their evaluation. on hold unless the private facility needs them to do it or unless something falls through with that.


Active Member
Also, I'm receiving teachers' reports on behavior each week. It looks like difficult child is typically restless in half his classes. I've seen some things in him at home that make me think medications are not adequate (needs more or something else), so I made appointment with psychiatrist to discuss this. Anyway, the sd case manager is aware of this but teachers are not. One teacher emailed that she told him "Get Out" because he got up out of his seat when her back was turned. I suggested to the case manager that the teachers get a little background info on difficult child and try subtly pointing out to difficult child that he seems to be in a talkative or restless mood (in a way that doesn't embaress him) because when I do this at home, he seems to try to reel himself back in. The case manager emailed back and the question now is- how much do we tell the teachers when we previously had a problem with teachers and staff using personal info to "hit below the belt"- blurting out things in front of entire class, using info to hurt difficult child's feelings when teachers were frustrated with him, staff questioning him extensively and repetitively, people trying to play therapist for him without knowing enough about the situation, etc.


Roll With It
SD evaluations can be a double edged sword. They can also be very biased, most often toward the diagnosis that will enable htem to provide the least services. Witha private evaluation you can either let the SD know hte results or not. NEVER sign a consent to let the school and the evaluator (psychologist, psychiatrist, Occupational Therapist (OT), PT, Dalai Lama, or the cast of HeeHaw!) talk to each other or release info to each other. YOU take the info from one source to the other. MAking sure, of course, that you keep a copy or six for yourself. I have been burned this way (letting SD and psychiatrist talk to each other).

Why does your bro want custody of your child? Why does he think he will win custody? What will he do once he gets custody? Be very very sure that you go to the school and revoke, in writing, your ability to look at your son's files, talk to his teachers, or pick up your son at any time without written or oral consent from you EACH TIME.

As far as the idea that they can give you the IEP to sign at after the meeting, and that you could miss it with no problems, be very wary. They have to give you written notification of hte meeting (and sending the notice home with your kid does not count!) and they have to move it to accomodate you if you ask. I had to do this once. School wanted to do it with-o me because they were late getting the notification to me. This is where they make big changes, write them in gobbledygook (the official language of the School District), and your child is a great big loser in the whole process because they take away much of his help. This just make me want to have a third or fourth party go over the IEP before you sign it.



ps. It is NOT your fault your child has problems. No matter what your family says!