Where to start with an evaluation...


New Member
My son is on an academic IEP at school - he does not have behavioral issue at school, but
I think I should have him evaluated for some sort of mental health issue - ODD perhaps.
We have lots of meltdowns at home, more than typical for his age.

So far, his school has been wonderful about helping with my kids. It's the type of small,
involved school where they really seem to want the best for the kids and are willing to work
with the parents. Of course, I am a former educator so I understand the IEP system and am
not intimidated to talk with the teacher or principal, etc.

My question is, should I start with the school? Who does these sorts of evaluations?
He was adopted at two, and we have no mental or medical history on the family.
He has a lot of empathy for others, so I'm not too concerned about Reactive Attachment Disorder (RAD), but just suspect that
there is something in his background - maybe Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (FAS)? He doesn't have any physcial characteristics,
but I have had students with similar symptoms.

We also worked with a great Child pyschologist about a year ago. He responded well to her, and we were working on anger issues (hit a pillow..not your brother, etc) and he had improved on that end. Would it be better to go back to her? (we have moved to another town since then, but it's not too far).

Thanks in advance!


Hello and welcome!

You are entitled to ask the SD for an evlaution of what is going on at home because it will negatively impact your child's education soon if it isn't already. However, if you can avoid doing that, I would.

If you have a relationship with a child psychologist, then you can get an evaluation started without involving the school. If you later want to give the information to the school, you can use it as an IE (independent evaluation.)

Many people here feel that a child such as yours with multiple problems should be evaluated at a major medical center with a good children's psychiatric unit or a pediatirc neurologist if no large hospital is available. I tend to agree with this position but since you have a relationship already, I would begin with the child psychiatric and then ask if a more comprehensive evaluation is needed (which seems likely if you are concerned about Fetal Alcohol Effects (FAE)--and your child is adopted but you have no medical Hx on the birth family.) Lack of such information tends to raise the index of suspicion when problems emerge and make the stakes higher as well because you do not know what might be in your child's birth family gene pool.

Could you please post a bit more information in your signature--such as the ages of your children and which one of the four you are writing about. It helps us keep people straight.



New Member
We are very close to Mott's children't hospital in Michigan so we are lucky there.
I am going to start this process this week... A lot of what he does is so minor, I read the major
things people are dealing with and it seems slight, but I know there is something not right with
him, somewhere.

Thanks...(and updated my signature!)