Are you worried you will spend thousands of dollars on a private evaluation and it will all be for naught? Do you feel lost in terms of what to look for in an evaluator? We are here to help you be sure you are maximizing your investment when it comes to paying for a private evaluation.
The Evaluation Serves As the Cornerstone of Any Tuition Reimbursement Case
A high-quality evaluation will give us a road map of what your child needs. Moreover, your evaluator is the case's expert, and will help to negate any argument that you (the parent) are only asking for services and supports based on what is best for your child. Instead, the the evaluator will give us data in black and white to enforce your child's need for the program that is most appropriate for them.
Keep These Important Tips In Mind When Choosing an Evaluator:
Pick an evaluator who will make specific recommendations. For example, if possible, they should specify an approximate class size, rather than just saying "small," mention specific teaching methodologies that your child requires to make progress, or talk about exactly what type of 1:1 support is required (i.e. redirection vs. instruction).
Select someone who is willing to participate in an IEP meeting and testify at a hearing. Evaluators are important advocates at IEP meetings and serve as expert witnesses at hearings - make sure your evaluator is willing and able to do both for you.
Watch out for additional fees. While most evaluators include all of their services in one flat fee, some charge extra (sometimes hourly) for IEP participation and hearing testimony. Make sure you are aware of this and have have worked it out upfront so everyone is on the same page.
If you do not know where to turn, ask a trusted teacher, therapist, advocate, or attorney for evaluator recommendations. This is a small community, and the professionals you trust will be able to give you the name of someone who can properly identify your child's needs and support your family.
For additional questions about evaluations, evaluator recommendations, or other inquiries, contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or 646-741-3030, and be sure to check back next week when we delve into Independent Educational Evaluations (IEEs), and how to determine if you are eligible to have the district fund your private evaluation.