Tip 11: Parents: Review any recommendations made in the evaluation reports. This information can give you an idea of the goals and objectives to address and to spark questions. Feel free to ask questions about why a recommendation may not be incorporated into a goal or objective.

Parents receive an Evaluation Report (ER) after a child has received his or her initial evaluation for special education services. If the school finds a child is eligible for special education services, the school must create an IEP for the student within 30 days.

What will you do as a parent before the IEP is drafted? Once the ER is ready, you may be invited to go over the report with staff from your school. Know that you are not required to sign or agree to anything on the day of the meeting. You may request to take the report home and evaluate it on your own time. A school psychologist will be present at your meeting to explain the information on your child’s report and answer any questions.

After the meeting, be sure you understand your child’s disability and the recommendations the school has made. It is crucial to understand how the goals and services outlined in the IEP will address your child’s needs, and what kinds of goals are reasonable to set for your child.

Talk to your doctor or search for medical resources about your child’s disability to learn more. Additionally, the Parent’s Place of Maryland and the Maryland Coalition of Families (MCF) can help parents understand the intricacies of the report’s recommendations and the IEP.

If you think more evaluations may be necessary, you may request them at any time. However, the school district may not agree to complete the evaluations unless there is a specific reason to evaluate outside of the standard evaluation timeline, which requires a child be reevaluated once every three years.

Some reasons that a school district may agree to evaluate a child more than once over a three year-period include:

  • Change in behaviors, especially extreme growth or regression.
  • Change in medical status.
  • If a parent or teacher feels an area of need is not being proper addressed.

If you do not agree with the information in the ER, you may request an Independent Education Evaluation (IEE). Parents who request an IEE should note that:

  • Schools are not required to grant an IEE.
  • Parents may only request an IEE at district expense once per concern (i.e., if a school’s evaluation determines a child does not have autism, and the IEE results agree with the school district’s evaluation, parents generally may not get another IEE to test for autism).