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Special Education, Evaluations, and Divorce
Q: My son recently underwent an extensive ESE with an independent forensic psychologist. When I gave it to the school, they said that they're unable to read it without the written consent of both parents (we're divorced). They want to do a psychoeducational evaluation instead. What's the difference? Can the school provide an IEP based on one parent's wishes, even though there is shared parental responsibility and joint custody at this time?
A: This is one for the lawyers. I can't really advise you about the legal issues involved here. Have a look at Attorney Lawrence M. Siegel's book, The Complete IEP Guide: How to Advocate for Your Special Ed Child. He lists a number of free or low-cost legal resources where you can get some answers.
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For more than 20 years, Eileen Marzola has worked with children and adults with learning disabilities and attention deficit disorders, and with their parents and teachers. She has been a regular education classroom teacher, a consultant teacher/resource teacher, an educational evaluator/diagnostician, and has also taught graduate students at the university level. Marzola is an adjunct assistant professor of education at Teachers College, Columbia University, and Hunter College of the City University of New York. She also maintains a private practice in the evaluation and teaching of children with learning disabilities and attention deficit disorders.