While schools are required to consider outside sources of information about your child, they are not mandated to agree with it. Even if you have a private evaluation, your child’s school will conduct their own evaluation.
There are benefits to seeking an independent assessment. It can be done quickly, in comparison to the school district’s waiting period. It is also likely to be more thorough than the assessment done by the school. An IQ test can be administered, which provides far more information than the alternative tests most schools will use to estimate IQ. You will also be provided with a detailed written report of the test scores and findings that your evaluator will explain to you in a face-to face meeting. The only downside to a private evaluation is the cost that you may bear, which can range from $1,000 to $3,000 or more.
Your private evaluator may reach a more complete or different understanding of your child’s disability than found by the school personnel. However, if your child is determined to be eligible for special education, it is not so important that school personnel agree with your evaluator. On the other hand, if your private evaluation indicates that your child qualifies for special education but the school denies eligibility, you may appeal the denial.