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How do I obtain an Independent Education Evaluation (IEE) for my child?

Updated: Apr 26, 2023

Disclaimer: Please know that there are state-by-state variations for many of these procedures (including the timelines), so you should include a disclaimer that the advice/recommendations are general and that each individual case or situation may need to be considered individually in light of the circumstances and region of the country. Additionally, this is a narrative of my experience only. You are strongly encourage to consult with a special education attorney before attempting to utilize any of these techniques. A list of special education professional by region can be found by visiting the COPAA directory.


An independent education evaluation or IEE will serve as the justification for access to special education services and an IEP, if the IEE qualifies your student as having a learning disability. In order to have an IEE completed, you will need to follow specific steps to request that evaluation. Check out my other article, How To Request An Evaluation For Special Education Services From Your Child’s School for detailed steps on how to to do that. This article will provide you with specific language if you are seeking an evaluation that is to be completed by an assessment professional outside of your school district (the school district will likely want to use their own assessment professionals so be prepared for some pushback).


I learned about this information from one of the most knowledgeable and skilled advocates I know, Sandra Shove, of EPIC Advocacy. EPIC is an acronym for Empowering Parents of Interesting Children and I know for sure that is what Sandra does! Please click on her link if you would like to learn more about her work.


When I asked Sandra about the rights parents have in terms of requesting an IEE, she shared with me that "parents always have the choice of IEE provider, as long as the provider meets the limited criteria that the District/LEA is allowed to set (geographic boundaries, minimum professional qualifications/licenses, and sometimes, reasonable cost limits)."


If you are seeking a district-funded directly IEE, you can use the template below:


Parent

Street Address

City, State ZIP


DATE


School Administrator or Special Education Director

__________ School District

Street Address

City, State ZIP


Re: Child’s Name, DOB


Dear ___________:


I am writing to disagree with the school district’s assessment of my child (NAME) on (DATE of ASSESSMENT).


My child’s date of birth is XX/XX/XX. He/she is in the ___ grade. He/she is attending the ____________ School, in this school district. I am the parent/guardian of ___________. My residence address and telephone number are _____________________________________.


This letter serves as notice that I will be seeking a private assessment at public expense, which I am entitled to under 34 C.F.R. §300.502. I will be seeking reimbursement from the district for this independent assessment.


Thank you for your anticipated cooperation and prompt assistance.


Very truly yours,


__________________


If you are seeking a parent paid up-front IEE with reimbursement by the district after everything is completed, you can use the template below:


Parent

Street Address

City, State ZIP


DATE


School Administrator or Special Education Director

__________ School District

Street Address

City, State ZIP


Re: Child’s Name, DOB


Dear ___________:


I am writing to disagree with the school district’s assessment of my child (NAME) on (DATE of ASSESSMENT).


My child’s date of birth is XX/XX/XX. He/she is in the ___ grade. He/she is attending the ____________ School, in this school district. I am the parent/guardian of ___________. My residence address and telephone number are _____________________________________.


This letter serves as notice that I will be seeking Independent Educational Assessment at public expense, which I am entitled to under 34 C.F.R. §300.502. Please provide me with the school’s IEE policy and procedures as soon as possible so we may proceed without unnecessary delay.


Thank you for your anticipated cooperation and prompt assistance.


Very truly yours,


__________________




For downloadable copies of these resources, visit our resources page.


About the author:

Sean McCormick is a parent, husband and international executive function coach. He is the founder of Executive Function Specialists, an online coaching business which guides middle, high school, and college students in overcoming procrastination, disorganization and anxiety by teaching time management, prioritization and communication skills so they feel motivated, prepared, and empowered.



He has also spoken about executive function at prominent venues including the Association of Educational Therapists' National Conference, at the Athenian School and on the Qualified Tutors Podcast.

Sean is regularly featured across media channels for his expertise on executive function, ADHD and special education.

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