Lauren Stevenson, PsyD., Director
Evaluating the needs of students who are struggling in school or at home is a difficult process for everyone involved, most importantly, to the students themselves and to those that are advocating for their needs. Having trained clinicians who specialize in determining eligibility for special education is an important step towards tailoring treatment interventions, services, and accommodations specific to the needs of each individual student. At Capstone Psychological Services, each of our psychologists bring a wealth of knowledge and experience working with school aged youth through young adults in the context of both treatment and comprehensive evaluations. We also have the unique ability to provide evaluations in Spanish.
If you, as a parent or guardian of a child with a disability, do not agree with the results of the individualized evaluation of your child, as conducted by the school system, you have the right to obtain what is known as an Independent Educational Evaluation, or an IEE. This means that you may ask that a professional, competent evaluator who is not employed by the school system conduct another evaluation of your child. This ensures an objective and unbiased assessment of the unique strengths and areas of needed support for the students.
If you are the parent or guardian of a child with a disability and you don’t agree with the school’s evaluation of your child, you have the right to request an IEE at public expense. This means that the school system would pay for an entirely new and independent evaluation of your child.
The school may grant your request and pay for the IEE, or it may file a due process complaint and request a due process hearing to demonstrate that its own evaluation was appropriate. If the hearing officer determines that the school's evaluations was appropriate, then the parent/guardian would be responsible for payment of the IEE. Regardless of who provides payment, however, the IEP must be reviewed and considered when discussing development of the IEP plan.
Our psychologists at Capstone pride ourselves in providing comprehensive and evidence-based assessments. Given the comprehensive nature of our evaluations, it is important that time is spent gathering all relevant documents, including academic records, teacher evaluations, disciplinary records, previous evaluations, and any other mental health related documentation prior to starting. We spend as much time as is needed to complete the individually designed battery of tests, and integrate the data in a user friendly document. We offer a feedback session to help interpret the results and will attend the IEP Team Meeting to be an active and collaborative member in helping review and discuss the results as it relates to helping each individual student.