Independent Educational Evaluation (IEE) for Students With Disabilities

Teacher working with a student with special needs

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If you don’t agree with the results of the school’s evaluation of your child, you have the right to request an independent educational evaluation (IEE). An IEE is conducted by an outside professional who isn’t employed by the school. An IEE can determine whether your child has a learning disability or other disorder and identify the educational services most suitable to your child as a result.

Your Legal Right to an IEE

Though an IEE is done by an outside specialist, the Individuals with Disabilities Act (IDEA) gives you the right to request the school pay for it if you disagree with the results of the school's evaluation. Here are some reasons you might request an IEE:

  • You disagree with the school evaluation.
  • You believe the school’s evaluation was incomplete or used outdated methods or data.
  • The school district does not employ qualified evaluators for a specific evaluation.
  • You believe that the data collected was inappropriate (for example, they used a test protocol that is not appropriate for autism or IDD, or non-verbal or blind, or reading disabled, etc.).
  • Your school district refuses to do an evaluation.

Most school districts will provide you with an approved list of qualified evaluators who are not employed by the school district. The list will also include the cost of these evaluators.

Ultimately, it is up to the parents, not the school district, to select an evaluator. If you choose an evaluator who is not on the list, the criteria under which an IEE is conducted (including the location and cost of the evaluation and the qualifications of the evaluator) must be the same as the criteria that the school district uses for its evaluations. It is up to the district to determine whether the evaluator meets district criteria 

What to Expect After Testing

After your child has been tested, you’ll get a written report of the results. This report will list the tests used, show your child’s results, and provide more information about the type and severity of your child’s impairment. The report will also include a statement about how those issues affect your child and recommendations of things that can be done to help.

If you choose to share the results, they become part of your child’s educational record. Just as the school’s evaluations feed into your child's individualized education program (IEP), school personnel must also consider the results of the IEE when developing your child’s IEP.

1 Source
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  1. Individuals With Disabilities Education Act. Sec. 300.502 Independent educational evaluation.

By Terri Mauro
Terri Mauro is the author of "50 Ways to Support Your Child's Special Education" and contributor to the Parenting Roundabout podcast.