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What is a Licensed Educational Psychologist?


California Business and Professions Code

Section 4989.14: Scope of Practice


The practice of educational psychology is the performance of any of the following professional functions pertaining to academic learning processes or the education system or both:


  1. Educational evaluation.

(b) Diagnosis of psychological disorders related to academic learning processes.


(c) Administration of diagnostic tests related to academic learning processes including tests of academic ability, learning patterns, achievement, motivation, and personality factors.

(d) Interpretation of diagnostic tests related to academic learning processes including tests of academic ability, learning patterns, achievement, motivation, and personality factors.

(e) Providing psychological counseling for individuals, groups, and families.

(f) Consultation with other educators and parents on issues of social development and behavioral and academic difficulties.

(g) Conducting psychoeducational assessments for the purposes of identifying special needs.

(h) Developing treatment programs and strategies to address problems of adjustment.


(i) Coordinating intervention strategies for management of individual crises.

Why should my child be evaluated?


It can become very frustrating to see your child struggles with learning in school. A psycho-educational evaluation can help answer the following questions: 

1) What are my child's learning strengths and weaknesses?

2) What are my child's cognitive functioning and how does it affect his/her academic achievement?

3) What are my child's processing abilities and how do they affect his/her academic achievement?

4) How does my child's social-emotional behavior affect his/her academic achievement? 

5) How does my child's attention modality affect his/her academic achievement? 

6) What are my child's current level of academic functioning? 

7) Does my child have a disorder such as: Autism, Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder (ADHD), Learning Disorders, Intellectual Disability, Anxiety, and Depression? 

8)  What accommodations and interventions are necessary for my child to make adequate progress towards grade level standards?

All in all, the purpose of a psycho-educational evaluation is to provide you with a holistic view of how your child thinks and learn. The information can be used to identify strengths and weaknesses, learning gaps, and any disorders.  In addition, the assessment also provides your child's school and outside agencies baseline data so they could provide the appropriate interventions and services for your child.

What is a Psycho-Educational Assessment?


A Psycho-Educational Assessment is a comprehensive assessment which includes review of all relevant records that are made available at the time of the evaluation; interviews with all relevant individuals, which may include: parents, student, teacher(s), and outside agencies; observations within the testing environment and within the educational setting (if made available); standardized and/or curriculum-based assessments; rating scales are distributed and collected from all relevant sources, which may include: parents, student, and teachers.

What is an Independent Educational Evaluation (IEE)?


An Independent Educational Evaluation (IEE) is a comprehensive assessment that is typically requested by a school district, an attorney, or a parent requesting an assessment at public expense. An IEE is done by a person who does not work for the child's school district, public charter school, or intermediate unit (IU). IEEs include review of all relevant records, including: comprehensive review of all educational records that are made available at the time of the evaluation;  interviews with all relevant parties, including: parents, student, teacher(s), and outside agencies; multiple observations within the testing environment and multiple observations within the educational setting; standardized and/or curriculum-based assessments; rating scales are distributed and collected from all relevant sources, which may include: parents, student, and teachers; participation in all relevant IEP meetings (maximum 2 hours). Any additional time required to participate in additional IEP meetings or a due process hearing will be billed at a negotiated hourly rate.

In comparison to a psycho-educational assessment, an IEE usually requires an extensive amount of time reviewing school records, travel, and interaction with IEP teams, attorneys, and attendance in Due Process hearings.

How can a parent obtain an IEE and who pays for the IEE?

If a parent of a child with a disability or suspected disability, do not agree with the results of the psycho-educational evaluation of his/her child that was conducted by the school system, the parent have the right to obtain an IEE (§300.502). This means that the parent may ask a professional, competent evaluator (i.e. Licensed Educational Psychologist) who is not employed by the school system to conduct another evaluation of the child. If the parent request for an IEE, the school must provide the parent with information about where he/she can obtain such an evaluation. Some IEEs are conducted at public expense (meaning, the school system pays for the evaluation), and others are paid for by the parents.


For instance: 

Let say that you are the parent of a child with a disability and you don’t agree with the school’s evaluation of your child. You have the right to request an IEE at public expense. This means that the school system would pay for an entirely new and independent evaluation of your child.

The school may grant your request and pay for the IEE, or it may file a due process complaint and request a due process hearing to demonstrate that its own evaluation was appropriate. The school may ask you why you object to its evaluation, but it may not require that you explain, or cause unreasonable delays in providing the IEE at public expense or in initiating due process to defend its evaluation.

If the school initiates due process, and the final decision of the hearing officer is that the evaluation of the school was appropriate, you still have the right to an IEE but not at public expense. If you have an IEE conducted of your child, you will have to pay for it yourself.

Sometimes, as part of a due process hearing, the hearing officer will ask that an IEE be conducted of the child. If this happens, the evaluation must always be conducted at public expense.

What is a Snapshot Assessment?


A snapshot assessment is a quick overview of a child's cognitive functioning, processing abilities (i.e. auditory processing, visual processing, phonological processing, visual-motor, etc.), and academic achievement. Typically, a snapshot assessment can help identify a child's area of strengths and weaknesses, learning style, and if there is a possible learning disorder. 

What is a Giftedness Assessment?


A giftness assessment evaluates a child's cognitive functioning, which is commonly known as an Intelligence Test. It provides a child's overall Intelligence Quotient (IQ). This assessment will reveal how well a child thinks using words (verbal), how well a child thinks with pictures, puzzles, and blocks (nonverbal), how quickly a child processes information, and how well a child retains information (memory skills).  

What is a Functional Behavior Assessment (FBA) and Behavior Intervention Plan (BIP)?

A Functional Behavior Assessment (FBA) is a process that identifies specific target behavior, the purpose of the behavior, and what factors maintain the behavior that is interfering with the student's educational progress.  A FBA can help figure out the cause of problem behaviors. 

A Behavior Intervention Plan (BIP) is a plan that is based on the results of a Functional Behavioral Assessment (FBA) and can help replace problem behaviors with more positive ones. A BIP should include the overall goals to be achieved, interventions intended to change the child's behavior(s), the persons responsible for implementing the proposed interventions, and evaluation methods and timelines to be followed (McConnell, Patton and Polloway BIP-3 2006). 

A comprehensive FBA includes review of relevant records (i.e.latest psycho-educational evaluation report) that are made available at the time of the evaluation; interviews with parents and teachers (if made available), multiple observations within the educational setting (minimum of 3 hours of observations); data collection from teachers if available; FBA rating scales and input forms are distributed and collected from all relevant sources, which may include: parents, student, and teachers. 

Why should my child be evaluated?
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