6 Steps to Take If You’re Unsatisfied With a Private Evaluation

You’ve paid for a private evaluation for your child, and you’ve just gotten the report. Hopefully it went well, and you’re satisfied with the process and the outcome. But what if you’re not? What happens if you disagree with the testing, the test results or the recommendations?

First, it’s important to know that private evaluations work differently than ones done by the school. For one thing, there’s no formal dispute process. You also don’t have the same rights that you do with school evaluations.

Second, it helps to remember that a private evaluation is actually a business transaction. You’re paying for professional services. If you don’t agree with the results and want the evaluator to do more, you will likely have to pay more. (Discover ways to get low-cost private evaluations.)

That doesn’t mean there’s no way for you to address concerns you may have, however. Here are six steps you can take if you disagree or are unsatisfied with your child’s private evaluation.

Meet with the evaluator.

Make an appointment with the evaluator to discuss your concerns. Before you meet, go through the evaluation report carefully. Highlight places where you want further explanation. Make sure the testing addressed what you went there to look into in the first place.

Ask about additional testing.

If the results don’t “sound” like your child, tell the evaluator. Ask about the specific tests used and whether additional testing might reveal more. (You might also look at the tests, so you know what your child was being asked to do.)

Try to negotiate changes in the report.

Some evaluators will consider making changes to their report. But the changes have to be within reason. You’ll need to explain your request and make the case for why it would be helpful to your child.

Seek a second opinion.

A second evaluator can review the report and respond to your specific questions. Share your concerns and ask what this evaluator might be able to do to get a clearer idea of what’s going on. Are additional tests needed? Would it help to see your child do an activity that requires the skills being tested?

Consider a school evaluation.

Just because you sought a private evaluation doesn’t mean you can’t request a school evaluation. The school might use different, or fewer, tests. But there are professionals who can assess your child in many areas, such as speech-language issues. The school will also know how your child functions in the school setting.

Contact the licensing board in your state.

If you feel the evaluator was incompetent or treated your child badly, you can file a formal complaint with the licensing board. In many states, the board will hold a hearing. Based on their findings, you may be able to get your money back or some other form of resolution.

This step is typically a last resort. Ideally, you’ll be able to resolve your concerns long before this point and come away with the information and insight you need to help your child.


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