A medical evaluation, if necessary to "identify ALL of the child's special education and related services needs" SHOULD BE PART OF THE SCHOOL EVALUATION. Often schools will try and tell parents that something is not education related if its not directly related to academics, but as we all know, education goes far beyond simple academics.
Stuff like remembering homework, being able to dress oneself, being able to participate socially, being able to open a door, and being able to find one's bus and walk a block by one's self to one's house is all about education, because that is what other, non-disabled students are expected to be able to do. So a "school eval" should never be thought of or allowed to be limited to what the schools call "education" -- that's nonsense. The two are inexorably intertwined.
A full "medical" evaluation can, and should, include a full psychiatric evaluation when there are behavior problems/issues. There is often also a full neurological (not neuropsychological) evaluation to determine whether there are issues with the brain itself. And then often as part of a "full" medical evaluation, the psychiatrist or neurologist will order a thorough neuropsychological evaluation to see how the issues they have found are reflected in cognitive/brain functioning.
If the medical (i.e., pediatrician, etc.) evaluation shows problems that may require psychiatric, neurological or neuropsychological evaluations, health insurance often covers. The prescribing pediatrician can argue with the health insurer on behalf of the family in this kind of case.
School psychoeducational evaluations and Independent Educational Evaluations (IEEs)
School or independent evaluations should assess children in all of the following areas, plus any others in which it appears that the child is experiencing difficulty:
- Reading difficulty
- Writing difficulty (both physical and getting info to page)
- Math difficulty
- Trouble mastering or displaying mastery of other academic content
- Sensory Difficulty (including but not limited to hearing and sight)
- Receptive Language
- Expressive Language
- Written Language
- Assistive Technology
- Physical impairments
- Difficulty with balance, fine or gross motor skills
- Communication difficulties and methods
- Executive Function difficulty (planning, task completion, on task)
- Getting along with others
- Independent functioning
- Mental illness
- Emotional disturbance
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