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How to request the district to evaluate (not screen) your child...


sharie001 April 10, 2008

How to request the district to evaluate (not screen) your child...


First things first, there is a HUGE difference b/w screening a child for a disability and evaluating a child as defined and meeting the criteria set forth under the Individuals w/ Disabilities Education Act (federal law)!!!!

If the school offered to screen your child or said they have to be screened first, said your child wouldn't qualify, screened your child and said they didn't qualify, refused to evaluate for any reason, or has not evaluated or notified you they would be evaluating your child after you have requested your child to be evaluated for suspected disabilities that may affect learning, your school/district is in violation of your state laws, and federal laws.

The district has 60 days to complete and evaluation from the date of receiving a signed consent to evaluate your child. If they are in violation I would send them a letter (see sample) reminding them of their obligation under IDEA to evaluate, if they continue to be noncompliant then I would file a state and or federal complaint for noncompliance (federal complaints can be filed with the US Dept of Ed's Office for Civil Rights).

Send the letter certified return receipt mail addressed to the principal and cc: the district special ed dept.. Maybe start something like this;

Mr. & Mrs. Child's Parents

101 Spec Ed Lane

Anywhere, USA, 000000

School name

Attn: Principal (put principals name)

1000 school address

Anywhere, USA, 00000

CC: School District(put name of district), Dept of Special Ed

Attn: Pupil Appraisal Dept.

1000 School District Ave

Anywhere, USA, 00000

October 20th, 2006

Dear Principal (put name of principal),

I am requesting the district do full educational evaluation on my child, (write child's name), because I believe (child's name) has a disability that affects learning. Please ensure that the evaluation is fully compliant with the Individual's with Disabilities Improvement Act of 2004's standards.

Please do a comprehensive evaluation, that includes all aspects of learning including but not limited to all abilities and disabilities.

The following are specific areas that I suspect s/he may have a disability that affects learning, and I'm certain need to be evaluated. Please do not limit the evaluation to these areas though, as I wish to ensure we don't miss anything that may affect s/he ability to learn:

< Examples of areas that may be of concern to you that you may want to put here include but are not limited to some of the items/areas listed on the following websites:



If you believe you know which special ed disability category, you believe your child may fall under, you may also want to include it in your letter, such as;

The IDEA provides definitions of the 13 disability categories. These federal definitions guide how states define who is eligible for a free appropriate public education under IDEA. The definitions of disability terms are as follows:

1. Autism...

...means a developmental disability significantly affecting verbal and nonverbal communication and social interaction, generally evident before age three, that adversely affects educational performance. Characteristics often associated with autism are engaging in repetitive activities and stereotyped movements, resistance to changes in daily routines or the environment, and unusual responses to sensory experiences. The term autism does not apply if the child's educational performance is adversely affected primarily because the child has emotional disturbance, as defined in #5 below.

A child who shows the characteristics of autism after age 3 could be diagnosed as having autism if the criteria above are satisfied.

2. Deaf-Blindness...

...means concomitant [simultaneous] hearing and visual impairments, the combination of which causes such severe communication and other developmental and educational needs that they cannot be accommodated in special education programs solely for children with deafness or children with blindness.

3. Deafness...

...means a hearing impairment so severe that a child is impaired in processing linguistic information through hearing, with or without amplification, that adversely affects a child's educational performance.

4. Emotional Disturbance...

...means a condition exhibiting one or more of the following characteristics over a long period of time and to a marked degree that adversely affects a child's educational performance:

(a) An inability to learn that cannot be explained by intellectual, sensory, or health factors.

(b) An inability to build or maintain satisfactory interpersonal relationships with peers and teachers.

(c) Inappropriate types of behavior or feelings under normal circumstances.

(d) A general pervasive mood of unhappiness or depression.

(e) A tendency to develop physical symptoms or fears associated with personal or school problems.

The term includes schizophrenia. The term does not apply to children who are socially maladjusted, unless it is determined that they have an emotional disturbance.

5. Hearing Impairment...

...means an impairment in hearing, whether permanent or fluctuating, that adversely affects a child's educational performance but is not included under the definition of 'deafness.'

6. Mental Retardation...

...means significantly sub-average general intellectual functioning, existing concurrently [at the same time] with deficits in adaptive behavior and manifested during the developmental period, that adversely affects a child's educational performance.

7. Multiple Disabilities...

...means concomitant [simultaneous] impairments (such as mental retardation-blindness, mental retardation-orthopedic impairment, etc.), the combination of which causes such severe educational needs that they cannot be accommodated in a special education program solely for one of the impairments. The term does not include deaf-blindness.

8. Orthopedic Impairment...

...means a severe orthopedic impairment that adversely affects a child's educational performance. The term includes impairments caused by a congenital anomaly (e.g. clubfoot, absence of some member, etc.), impairments caused by disease (e.g. poliomyelitis, bone tuberculosis, etc.), and impairments from other causes (e.g., cerebral palsy, amputations, and fractures or burns that cause contractures).

9. Other Health Impairment...

...means having limited strength, vitality, or alertness, including a heightened alertness to environmental stimuli, that results in limited alertness with respect to the educational environment, that'

(a) is due to chronic or acute health problems such as asthma, attention deficit disorder or attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, diabetes, epilepsy, a heart condition, hemophilia, lead poisoning, leukemia, nephritis, rheumatic fever, and sickle cell anemia; and

(b) adversely affects a child's educational performance.

10. Specific Learning Disability...

...means a disorder in one or more of the basic psychological processes involved in understanding or in using language, spoken or written, that may manifest itself in an imperfect ability to listen, think, speak, read, write, spell, or to do mathematical calculations. The term includes such conditions as perceptual disabilities, brain injury, minimal brain dysfunction, dyslexia, and developmental aphasia. The term does not include learning problems that are primarily the result of visual, hearing, or motor disabilities; of mental retardation; of emotional disturbance; or of environmental, cultural, or economic disadvantage.

11. Speech or Language Impairment...

...means a communication disorder such as stuttering, impaired articulation, a language impairment, or a voice impairment that adversely affects a child's educational performance.

12. Traumatic Brain Injury...

...means an acquired injury to the brain caused by an external physical force, resulting in total or partial functional disability or psychosocial impairment, or both, that adversely affects a child's educational performance. The term applies to open or closed head injuries resulting in impairments in one or more areas, such as cognition; language; memory; attention; reasoning; abstract thinking; judgment; problem-solving; sensory, perceptual, and motor abilities; psychosocial behavior; physical functions; information processing; and speech. The term does not include brain injuries that are congenital or degenerative, or brain injuries induced by birth trauma.

13. Visual Impairment Including Blindness...

...means an impairment in vision that, even with correction, adversely affects a child's educational performance. The term includes both partial sight and blindness.

This info was found on the following website:


Please consider this request as my consent to evaluate (child's name). I look forward to working with you on this evaluation, and reviewing the results upon completion (sixty calendar days as per IDEIA '04 from receipt of this letter).

Thank you for your time, and have a great day!


Mr./Mrs. (insert your name, then make sure to sign it underneath)

P.S.- Please reply to this request within ten calendar days of reciept so that I will know we have started the ball rolling.

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sharie001 February 5, 2009

They should be able to evaluate for ADHD without a medical diagnosis, instead of calling it ADHD say you want eval regarding concerns in the areas of:

Completing assignments
Hyper activity

Districts can not do medical diagnosis but they can evaluate symptoms of things that are typically medically diagnosed.

If you disagree w/ the districts eval then you can request an IEE (independent/private educational eval) at public expense (district pays for it).

Meanwhile if you want a medical diagnosis sooner go to your child's pediatrician and see if they can do this for you if not take your child to another pediatrician that will.


lilmamajo February 5, 2009

ok well they screened at school for ADD ADHD
and then sent paperwork home. This screening isn't an evaluation though right?

If you ask for an IEE can you pick your own Dr?

Have any of ya'll been through this before?


sharie001 February 5, 2009

no it's not an eval that meets IDEA regs so send them certified letter formatted similar to the one listed above


lilmamajo February 5, 2009

ok I got my letter ready, but I feel really nervous about sending it in.....
anxiety I guess.
Have you guys sent in a letter like this before?
I am sorry to ask so many questions.....
I appreciate all of your in put thanks


sharie001 February 5, 2009

I've done letters like this many many times, along with assisting others with their letters. You are not doing anything wrong, you are simply trying to get to the bottom of your child's disabilities and how they should be addressed in the education setting.


chucknoe February 9, 2009

In some schools they do a screening instrument for ADHD for consideration for Section 504 services. Is this what they are doing here by any chance?

Whether they are talking special ed or 504, they should not be asking you to pay for a Doctor's evaluation.


Elease38 February 18, 2009

With my 5yr old I had to feel out paper work and I was excited about it cause I'm thinking oh he's going to get help. He has trouble with speach and Adhd. Not heard another word.
Than my 9 yr old has adhd and deaf in his right ear doing real good in school, but the other day they say he's been acting up in class. He's been taking his meds.


sharie001 February 18, 2009


If I were you, I would put my request for full educational eval as per IDEA regs in writting via certified mail. In some districts, if the parent doesn't stay on top of it and be persistant about eval and services then it won't happen.


Elease38 August 3, 2012

Wow this has been 3 yrs ago. Well my 5 yr old is now 8 and going into the 3rd grade new school for him, My oldest son is leaving the school that my 8 yr old is entering. My 12 yr old has been off his A.D.H.D. meds for the past 2 yrs, but still has to wear his hearing aid to school which he don't like wearing. My 8 yr old has even had to take his A.D.H.D. meds thru the summer this yr. The elementary said that when he gets to where he can talk clearly even at home he don't have to take speach anymore. Ok he has his days, some good, some bad. But what gets me is when the school is ready to send your child home for messing one pill. Its hard for me to believe that he is going to be acting up from 1 pill. Well that was the way I thought untill this summer. If he messes 1 day he is bouncing off of the wall. The schools that my boys are going into this yr will have new principles. So I hope and pray they do alot better this year. My 12 yr old only got into trouble 3 times last yr., What a/b other kids bullying my 8 yr. old because he has a speach problem and A.D.H.D.?

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