Private vs School Evaluation
You have spent many sleepless nights worrying about your child’s academic struggles and attentional difficulties. You have advocated for them with teachers and school staff. You have provided them with as much private support as possible, but know that there’s more that can be done. In order to better understand your child’s strengths and weaknesses, you have to come to the conclusion that an evaluation is necessary. But who? Should you ask the school to conduct the evaluation, or should you have your child undergo a private evaluation? This is often a difficult choice for parents as each choice has its own benefits and limitations. Here is some helpful information to help you make the best decision for your family.
In a private evaluation, you will chose the clinician that will work with your child. You will be able to do your own research and speak to many clinicians until you find one that best meets your needs and comfort level . The person chosen will be the only person performing all aspects of the evaluations and thus building a rapport and alliance with your child in a more personalized setting. Additionally, the evaluation will be personalized toward specific concerns resulting in more individualized recommendations. You are also able to keep the results private and are not required to share them with your child’s school. However, private clinicians often have a long waiting list and private evaluations are often expensive.
In a school evaluation, once you get the evaluation approval from the school, your child will have to be evaluated within a certain timeframe at no cost to you. Your child will be evaluated in a familiar setting, by a team of individuals who will each cover different aspects of the evaluation. However, because such evaluations rely on school resources, they are often not personalized to specific areas of concern and recommendations are more general in nature. Additionally, the evaluation and results are automatically part of your child’s confidential school records.
As you can see, there is no “best option”, and the decision is different based on each child’s needs and each family’s comfort. If you have any further questions or concerns please feel free to call us for a free phone consultation! We would be happy to guide you through this process and help you make the best decision for your child.
Dr. Sepideh Homayoonfar is a licensed child clinical psychologist located in Great Neck, NY who specializes in comprehensive pediatric evaluations. Should results warrant a diagnosis, she can help parents and their child better understand ADHD, develop better coping strategies, and improve organizational skills.
Please feel free to email us or call our office at 516-484-1200 for a free phone consultation and any other questions that you may have!