by Dr. Lorin Bradbury
Question: I have a daughter in the third grade. She is performing poorly in school, and compared to our other children, she is falling far behind. I have asked her teacher about Special Education services, but have received reassurances that she will probably catch up. I’m not so certain. Is there someone outside the school who could test my daughter to see why she is having such a difficult time in school?
Answer: You raise a very important concern, and I’m sure you are not alone in being concerned about the achievement of a child. Since you have other children, and there is something different about how this child is learning, you probably have a keener sense of your child’s need than anyone else. The longer you wait the get an assessment, the further your child will fall behind.
If you cannot get your child’s teacher to make a referral for an assessment to determine if your child needs Special Education, you should speak with the site administrator or counselor. If you still cannot get a referral, the answer to your question is “Yes,” there is someone who can test your daughter. Any psychologist with training in psychoeducational testing and licensed by the State can test your daughter.
Another reason you may want to purchase the services of a licensed psychologist would be if you disagree with the results of testing by the school psychologist and you desire a second opinion. If you choose to purchase the services of a licensed psychologist, outside the school, you can expect to pay $1,500 to $1,800 for the evaluation and it may or may not be covered by insurance. However, if it was my child, and I saw her falling further and further behind, the cost of the evaluation would be minimal to the cost of her failing in school.
Lorin L. Bradbury, Ph.D. is a licensed psychologist in private practice in Bethel. For appointments, he can be reached at 543-3266. If you have questions that you would like Dr. Bradbury to answer in the Delta Discovery, please send them to The Delta Discovery, P.O. Box 1028, Bethel, AK 99559, or e-mail them to [email protected].