Inside: How to Request an IEP Evaluation and be the best advocate you can be, for your child, during the process.

You will definitely want to bookmark or pin this post. I have often said that one of the biggest IEP mistakes that parents make is not doing everything in writing. The worst case scenario is that you end up in a Due Process Hearing.

And then, what will matter is your paper trail. It won’t matter that you verbally asked for something ten times. What will win the hearing is how well documented everything is.

Writing to your IEP team is a way to get documentation. And, it is permissible and acceptable for both parents and IEP teams to use email as a form of communication.

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Even if you think it is the most mundane or harmless conversation, follow it up with an email.

I can’t even count how many times this practice, of doing everything in writing, has saved the day for some of my clients.

1. Sample Letter to Request IEP Evaluations

As this website has evolved, I have explained the various letter-writing topics in great detail. This was originally published in 2014 and it was time for an overhaul.

While I will still provide templates, I hope that if I did write about your concerns, that you take the time to read the post.

Sometimes reading background information and tips can help you craft a more powerful letter, rather than just following a template.

You also should take 9 minutes to watch this video, because it can be a game-changer for your communication.

I treat the IEP process as a business transaction. I am in the business of getting my child’s needs met. And business transactions require lots of letters.

how to request an IEP evaluation

Luckily, we don’t really have to reinvent the wheel.

2. How to Request IEP Evaluations

Remember that you don’t write and ask for an IEP. You ask that your child is evaluated. Per Child Find, a school is required to evaluate in all areas of suspected disability. So if they don’t suspect an area and you do, bring it to their attention.

List what you are seeing both in your request letter and the Permission to Evaluate form.

As a parent, I understand that navigating the process of requesting an IEP evaluation can be overwhelming and confusing. However, it is important to understand that this evaluation can provide your child with the support and resources they need to succeed in their education.

To begin the process of requesting an IEP evaluation, I recommend contacting your child’s school and asking to speak with the special education coordinator or another member of the school’s special education team.

From there, you can express your concerns and request an evaluation for your child. It is important to note that you have the right to request an evaluation at any time, and the school is required by law to respond to your request in a timely manner.

3. What is an IEP Evaluation?

An IEP evaluation is an assessment conducted by the school district to determine if a student is eligible for special education services. The evaluation is done to identify the student’s strengths and weaknesses and determine the appropriate educational program that meets the student’s needs.

The evaluation process includes a review of the student’s academic, behavioral, and developmental history, observations, and assessments.

The assessments may include cognitive, academic, social-emotional, and functional assessments, among others.

4. Why Request an IEP Evaluation?

As a parent or guardian, you may request an IEP evaluation if you suspect your child has a disability that affects their learning. It could be a learning disability, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), autism, or any other disability that affects their academic progress.

Requesting an IEP evaluation can help identify the specific needs of your child and provide them with the necessary support and services to succeed in school. It can also help ensure that the school provides accommodations and modifications that are appropriate for your child’s disability.

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5. Who Can Request an IEP Evaluation?

As a parent or guardian, you have the right to request an IEP evaluation for your child. You can make the request in writing to your child’s school principal or special education director.

The school district must respond to your request within a reasonable time frame and provide you with a written notice of whether they will proceed with the evaluation or not. If they proceed, the district must obtain your written consent before conducting any assessments.

6. Preparing for an IEP Evaluation

As I prepare for my child’s IEP evaluation, there are a few things that I need to keep in mind. Gathering information, communicating with school personnel, and preparing for the meeting are all important steps in ensuring that my child receives the support they need.

Gathering Information

Before requesting an IEP evaluation, I need to gather information about my child’s academic performance, behavior, and any other concerns that I have. This can include:

  • Report cards and progress reports
  • Teacher feedback and observations
  • Any assessments or evaluations that have been done in the past
  • Medical records or diagnoses that may impact my child’s learning

By gathering this information, I can provide a comprehensive picture of my child’s strengths and areas of need to the school personnel.

Remember, the school district is required to “evaluate in all areas of suspected disability.” If they do not suspect an area of disability, you need to bring it to their attention. You can use the list below as a guide.

Communicating with School Personnel

Once I have requested an IEP evaluation, I need to communicate with the school personnel to ensure that they have all the information they need. This can include:

  • Providing copies of any relevant documents or assessments
  • Answering any questions that the school personnel may have
  • Requesting a timeline for the evaluation process

It is important to maintain open communication with the school personnel throughout the evaluation process.

Preparing for the Meeting

Before the IEP meeting, I need to prepare by:

  • Reviewing my child’s strengths and areas of need
  • Identifying any goals that I have for my child
  • Familiarizing myself with the IEP process and my rights as a parent

During the meeting, I need to be an active participant by:

  • Asking questions and seeking clarification when needed
  • Advocating for my child’s needs
  • Ensuring that the resulting IEP reflects my child’s strengths and areas of need

By preparing for the meeting, you can ensure that my child receives the support they need to succeed.

As I begin the process of requesting an IEP evaluation, it is important to understand the steps involved in the evaluation process. In this section, I will outline the different assessment tools, types of assessments, and the evaluation report.

Assessment Tools

During the evaluation process, a variety of assessment tools may be used to gather information about the student’s strengths and weaknesses. These tools may include:

  • Standardized tests
  • Informal assessments
  • Observations
  • Interviews with parents, teachers, and other professionals

The assessment tools used will depend on the specific needs of the student and the areas of concern.

Types of Assessments

There are several types of assessments that may be conducted during an IEP evaluation.

These may include:

  • Academic assessments: These assessments evaluate the student’s academic skills in areas such as reading, writing, and math.
  • Cognitive assessments: These assessments evaluate the student’s cognitive abilities, including memory, attention, and problem-solving skills.
  • Behavioral assessments: These assessments evaluate the student’s behavior and emotional functioning.
  • Speech and language assessments: These assessments evaluate the student’s communication skills, including speech and language development.

The types of assessments used will depend on the specific needs of the student and the areas of concern.

7. The Evaluation Report

Once the assessments have been completed, the results will be compiled into an evaluation report. This report will include:

  • A summary of the student’s strengths and weaknesses
  • Recommendations for educational services and supports
  • Goals and objectives for the student’s IEP

The evaluation report will be used to determine eligibility for special education services and to develop the student’s IEP.

Understanding the IEP evaluation process is an important step in advocating for a student’s educational needs. By understanding the assessment tools, types of assessments, and evaluation report, I can be better prepared to participate in the IEP process and ensure that the student receives the services and supports they need to succeed.

This is only one post in a series. Here are the others.

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