Navigating Special Education: Independent Educational Evaluations
Jessica Emick March 11 2020
What is an Independent Educational Evaluation (IEE)?
An IEE is an evaluation conducted by a qualified professional or group of professionals who are not employed by the local educational agency (i.e., school district). An IEE is not limited to evaluating only a child's academic or cognitive skills, but may include the evaluation of any skill related to the child's educational needs. Evaluations of adaptive functioning, executive functioning, adapted physical education, sensory needs, and social skills are examples of the types of IEEs covered under the IDEA. The IEE has the same goals as the school’s evaluation: to determine the educational needs of your child resulting from a disability.
When should you request an IEE?
Independent educational evaluations can be a valuable tool for parents and school staff when used to determine a child's educational needs. While an IEE is not needed for most students, it is time to consider an IEE:
· if further clarity is needed about how a student is performing
· if there is disagreement about the results of a completed school-based evaluation
· if the school or parents are reporting or observing different things
Who pays for the IEE?
Typically, IEEs are paid by the student’s district with a few exceptions. It is important to clarify who will be paying for the IEE early in the process. Only one IEE paid for by the school district can be completed each time the school conducts their own evaluation.
What happens after an IEE is completed?
After an IEE is completed, the district must review and consider the findings from the IEE as they relate to your child’s educational eligibility and need. Often there is a team meeting to review the findings and discuss next steps. Ideally the additional information from the IEE will inform the educational team about how to best support your child’s learning.
How can Total Education Solutions Therapy help?
Total Education Solutions specializes in providing comprehensive IEEs that help both the school and family better understand and address the needs of the student. Having a team of independent experts, including pediatric and school psychologists, speech language pathologists, occupational therapists, physical therapists, and board certified behavior analysts, allows for a clear picture of the student to emerge including providing individualized and specific recommendations based on current best practices. Our dedicated staff have experience providing high quality services in the schools and clinic settings and understand the unique learning needs of students with disabilities.