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Too Much Testing to Achieve the IEP?

Too Much Testing to Achieve the IEP?Despite clear information noting the struggles of ADHD in the classroom, a school district recently denied IEP eligibility to a family advocating for their child. Their focus as is many, was the lack of a specified learning disability. This allows a district to jump into the gray area and deny the existence of a problem as related to ADHD.

I addressed the importance of gray area in my article, “How to Educate a Child with ADHD.” There I list areas that should be documented in the IEP eligibility meeting that will be important in establishing this need of support.

But in addition to that comes another question. Should you, the parent, request an independent evaluation as you move forward not accepting this decision that your child doesn’t need an IEP? A lot of factors go into this decision.

Remember the following:

  • Scheduling an independent evaluation takes time and will probably impact weeks of instruction without effective support.
  • School districts are mandated to view this new evaluation but not mandated to use the information.
  • The School district may or may not pay for this. This may be determined based on whether the parent goes with their recommended evaluator or chooses another outside the district’s list.

You may clearly have reasons for an IEP already based on those documented struggles in the gray area. My client certainly did. So further evaluation may bring out a couple of more valid areas of struggle, but this may not change the view of the school.

So what is the right path to go down? It never is a bad idea to choose to evaluate privately. After all, a learning disability is up to 40% likely to be co-existing with ADHD. Many of the symptoms of ADHD are similar to areas of learning disabilities like comprehension and writing. But in addition to moving to this decision to add to the testing is the need to continue to push for the needs of the child immediately based on your list of struggles that are impacting your child’s access to education. Don’t settle for the decision made by the child study team. Remember that you can take your concerns to the Director of Special Services.

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