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  1. #1
    PunkyBoo is offline Platinum level (1000+ posts)
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    Default Getting DC assessment/ neuropsych

    Sorry, this is long to give background.
    Due to behavioral issues, we are getting DS2 evaluated. He's 8 and just started 3rd grade. We had an SST at school in the spring but it was just a few weeks before the end of the school year so they recommended we take him to see the therapist (LCSW) that DS1 has been seeing (since his concussion last Fall.) The school psychologist told us at the SST that it sounded to her like anxiety. After several sessions with the therapist, she recommended we get him evaluated- the therapist believes he more likely is high functioning autistic and/or SPD. So we made an appointment with the behavioral development specialist our pediatrician recommended. The soonest appointment they could give us was a couple months out, but now it is approaching in about 2 weeks.
    The therapist also recommended we request that the school district do the assessments. So we sent a letter to the district over the summer and they responded that they will have the principal schedule another SST to discuss the plan for assessments about 2 weeks after school starts.
    School started this week. I chatted with the principal and met the new school psychologist on the first day of school- they said they received the letter and confirmed they will schedule the SST.
    My question is- should we keep the private appointment with the behavioral doc or cancel and let the school do the assessment? Should we tell the school about the private appointment? Is there any benefit to having both assessments?
    Thanks for any advice you can give me.
    Please excuse all my typos- typing on a kindle fire!
    Member of "I Love Brussels Sprouts" Society
    Mama to DS1 Punkin (2/04) and DS2 Boo (1/09)

  2. #2
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    Well the school assessment is free, the private is not. On the flip side, I don't trust our district--they are notorious for finding ways NOT to provide services for kids. So we have always gone the private route. If the money isn't an issue, I would go with both evals. If the school one turns out in your favor, great. But if not, then see what the private one says. If they agree, then that is good info. If they don't, then you really need to start asking questions.

    The other question is--when will the school eval get scheduled? 6 months from now? (I know, by law, it has to be done by x date, but that never stopped our district from delaying as much as possible)
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  3. #3
    PunkyBoo is offline Platinum level (1000+ posts)
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    Quote Originally Posted by StantonHyde View Post
    Well the school assessment is free, the private is not. On the flip side, I don't trust our district--they are notorious for finding ways NOT to provide services for kids. So we have always gone the private route. If the money isn't an issue, I would go with both evals. If the school one turns out in your favor, great. But if not, then see what the private one says. If they agree, then that is good info. If they don't, then you really need to start asking questions.

    The other question is--when will the school eval get scheduled? 6 months from now? (I know, by law, it has to be done by x date, but that never stopped our district from delaying as much as possible)
    Thanks so much for responding. I'm not sure what timeframe the school will push for, they just responded with the timeframe for the SST. Of course it behooves them to get it going otherwise the teacher will be sending him to the office a lot, I'm sure, like they had to last year. But in the SST do you think we should tell them we're doing the private evaluation (so they know we haven't been idle and have been working toward a solution door him) or do you think the school will then try to shirk their responsibility to evaluate him? I just have the one appointment at the behavior doc so I don't know whether that would be it or if that's more like preliminary consultation and then they'd schedule tests... I have a PPO but I haven't discussed with them how much out of pocket we'll face.
    Please excuse all my typos- typing on a kindle fire!
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  4. #4
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    hillview is offline Blue Diamond level (20,000+ posts)
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    If you can afford it I'd totally do the private assessment. I think they have a lot less likelihood to have a bias vs the school. Personally I have found a neuropsych eval to be the most helpful thing we did for both DSs (DS1 has dyslexia and DS2 has a NVLD diagnosis). In BOTH cases the school didn't think they needed to be tested. DS2 was finally tested at the public school and they found he had no special needs. ARGH
    DS #1 Summer 05
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  5. #5
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    Default Getting DC assessment/ neuropsych

    Keep the private appointment!!!! My DS1 is the same age, and we just got him assessed a few weeks ago. (Don't have final results.). The school psychologist and the behavioral doc might use different assessment tools. One might be more useful than the other. As someone who has waited months and months for an appointment with a very popular developmental specialist and then had a horrible experience then had to wait another 4 months for another assessment (that was much more thorough), I say keep the appointment. I'm 100% sure my son's school would say he has zero need for services, but he clearly has issues (psychologist said definitely ADHD.)


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  6. #6
    PunkyBoo is offline Platinum level (1000+ posts)
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    Thank you. We'll keep the appointment. But should we tell the school that we're also doing the private evaluation? They're scheduling the SST for next week.
    Please excuse all my typos- typing on a kindle fire!
    Member of "I Love Brussels Sprouts" Society
    Mama to DS1 Punkin (2/04) and DS2 Boo (1/09)

  7. #7
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    Do not tell the school about the private eval. Do tell the private eval about the school testing.
    Mom to:
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    "The task of any religion is not to tell us who we are entitled to hate but to teach us who we are required to love."

  8. #8
    niccig is offline Clean Sweep forum moderator
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    Default Getting DC assessment/ neuropsych

    I'm a school SLP.

    Do both testing... I really hate it when a Dr or therapist tells a parent to have the school test as it's free. We're evaluating for different things and different reasons and that impacts the evaluation process.

    The private evaluation is to consider if there's a medical diagnosis and what treatment options are available through the medical model - medications, therapies. The school evaluation is to see if the child has a disability as specified in that state's Education Code that is impacting the child's access to the general education curriculum. The criteria for the education eligibility is NOT the same as diagnostic criteria in the DSM. The school will NOT give a diagnosis, eg report may something like "characteristics of ADHD" and not ADHD. School services are to help child access curriculum at school and are not to remediate the disability or address impact in all settings/contexts.

    Schools operate on a narrower scope for eligibility - State defines when we can provide services as you have to justify child missing instructional time. A child had to fall a certain amount below their peers based on standardized and informal assessments. Just under average range typically isn't enough to warrant a child to miss instructional time. To see a private provider, you're missing non-school time, maybe an after school activity. I have a student in 3rd grade that misses over an hour a day of instructional time from several providers - that's a lot to miss out of a school day.

    Do both testing and inform both of test results. Why? So we have a full picture, we can't use the other parties evaluation without doing our own, but we can refer to it. We also can't use same test within certain time period.

    Don't give up private eval if you suspect anxiety - I think that's better dealt with in medical model than the education model as medical will be looking at home and school when treating, and at school we address how they're doing at school only. We can't do anything with the family. A private practitioner can counsel the entire family.

    The school SST process is going to take some time, they have to document interventions and if move to a full evaluation, that takes 60 days from when sign evaluation request. You may get one evaluation and treatment plan in place before the other.

    If he isn't eligible for a disability that's impacting education, he may qualify under a 504 plan. My school has several students with ADHD diagnosis from Dr, academically they don't need services, so they didn't qualify for an IEP, but they have a 504 plan with a behavior plan.

    Wording for the school SST meeting - we're discussing options with our doctor.





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    Last edited by niccig; 08-17-2017 at 09:00 PM.

  9. #9
    NCGrandma is online now Sapphire level (2000+ posts)
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    Quote Originally Posted by niccig View Post
    I'm a school SLP.

    Do both testing... I really hate it when a Dr or therapist tells a parent to have the school test as it's free. We're evaluating for different things and different reasons and that impacts the evaluation process.

    The private evaluation is to consider if there's a medical diagnosis and what treatment options are available through the medical model - medications, therapies. The school evaluation is to see if the child has a disability as specified in that state's Education Code that is impacting the child's access to the general education curriculum. The criteria for the education eligibility is NOT the same as diagnostic criteria in the DSM. The school will NOT give a diagnosis, eg report may something like "characteristics of ADHD" and not ADHD. School services are to help child access curriculum at school and are not to remediate the disability or address impact in all settings/contexts.

    Schools operate on a narrower scope for eligibility - State defines when we can provide services as you have to justify child missing instructional time. A child had to fall a certain amount below their peers based on standardized and informal assessments. Just under average range typically isn't enough to warrant a child to miss instructional time. To see a private provider, you're missing non-school time, maybe an after school activity. I have a student in 3rd grade that misses over an hour a day of instructional time from several providers - that's a lot to miss out of a school day.

    Do both testing and inform both of test results. Why? So we have a full picture, we can't use the other parties evaluation without doing our own, but we can refer to it. We also can't use same test within certain time period.

    Don't give up private eval if you suspect anxiety - I think that's better dealt with in medical model than the education model as medical will be looking at home and school when treating, and at school we address how they're doing at school only. We can't do anything with the family. A private practitioner can counsel the entire family.

    The school SST process is going to take some time, they have to document interventions and if move to a full evaluation, that takes 60 days from when sign evaluation request. You may get one evaluation and treatment plan in place before the other.

    If he isn't eligible for a disability that's impacting education, he may qualify under a 504 plan. My school has several students with ADHD diagnosis from Dr, academically they don't need services, so they didn't qualify for an IEP, but they have a 504 plan with a behavior plan.

    Wording for the school SST meeting - we're discussing options with our doctor.





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    Nicci, what a great explanation. My family has had plenty of experience with both types of evaluations (and services), and this is a really clear summary.


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  10. #10
    PunkyBoo is offline Platinum level (1000+ posts)
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    Quote Originally Posted by niccig View Post
    I'm a school SLP.

    Do both testing... I really hate it when a Dr or therapist tells a parent to have the school test as it's free. We're evaluating for different things and different reasons and that impacts the evaluation process.

    The private evaluation is to consider if there's a medical diagnosis and what treatment options are available through the medical model - medications, therapies. The school evaluation is to see if the child has a disability as specified in that state's Education Code that is impacting the child's access to the general education curriculum. The criteria for the education eligibility is NOT the same as diagnostic criteria in the DSM. The school will NOT give a diagnosis, eg report may something like "characteristics of ADHD" and not ADHD. School services are to help child access curriculum at school and are not to remediate the disability or address impact in all settings/contexts.

    Schools operate on a narrower scope for eligibility - State defines when we can provide services as you have to justify child missing instructional time. A child had to fall a certain amount below their peers based on standardized and informal assessments. Just under average range typically isn't enough to warrant a child to miss instructional time. To see a private provider, you're missing non-school time, maybe an after school activity. I have a student in 3rd grade that misses over an hour a day of instructional time from several providers - that's a lot to miss out of a school day.

    Do both testing and inform both of test results. Why? So we have a full picture, we can't use the other parties evaluation without doing our own, but we can refer to it. We also can't use same test within certain time period.

    Don't give up private eval if you suspect anxiety - I think that's better dealt with in medical model than the education model as medical will be looking at home and school when treating, and at school we address how they're doing at school only. We can't do anything with the family. A private practitioner can counsel the entire family.

    The school SST process is going to take some time, they have to document interventions and if move to a full evaluation, that takes 60 days from when sign evaluation request. You may get one evaluation and treatment plan in place before the other.

    If he isn't eligible for a disability that's impacting education, he may qualify under a 504 plan. My school has several students with ADHD diagnosis from Dr, academically they don't need services, so they didn't qualify for an IEP, but they have a 504 plan with a behavior plan.

    Wording for the school SST meeting - we're discussing options with our doctor.





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    Thank you so much for this, Nicci. This whole process is completely new to us and in the meantime we're dealing with a kid that is often very difficult. I really appreciate your insights and perspective- we were upset that the school told us we should have him evaluated but never explained that there is a process to have the school involved- we had to be told by the therapist that the school would do anything, and do all the research on the process ourselves. It's quite overwhelming. Thank you again!
    Please excuse all my typos- typing on a kindle fire!
    Member of "I Love Brussels Sprouts" Society
    Mama to DS1 Punkin (2/04) and DS2 Boo (1/09)

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