Parental Rights – Consent: Consent for Initial Evaluation

You must give your permission before the Local Educational Agency (LEA) can do any type of individual testing or evaluation with your child. However, this does not include situations where all children within the school are being tested or evaluated. Following testing, you have the right to make the final decision for whether or not your child receives services (assuming your child qualifies for services). Although you are permitted to withdraw consent for permission to test, you cannot retroactively withdraw consent for testing that has already occurred. If you withdraw consent, you withdraw consent for all services. You cannot withdraw consent for only one portion of services.

IDEA Section 300.300 Parental Consent covers the rights you have as a parent to provide consent for evaluation. Children who may be eligible for special education services require an evaluation prior to receiving those services. The LEA cannot evaluate your child until you have said that you are willing for your child to be evaluated/tested.

The only exception to this is if the LEA has made a meaningful attempt to discuss testing with a parent but was unable to get any response at all, or if the parental rights have been revoked or terminated. This does not include group tests that are provided to the whole school. However, group testing will not qualify a child for special education services.

Therefore, if the school reaches out to you and asks about testing, you are free to find out what exactly that means and how testing will proceed. Until you give consent for testing to commence, the school should not evaluate or test your child.

If you do not provide consent for testing, however, your child will not be eligible for services through the school. By stating that you do not wish for your child to be evaluated for services, you are saying that you do not believe that your child should receive services.

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