The Maine DOE is offering important guidance regarding parental consent for evaluation. Before a school administrative unit (SAU) may conduct an evaluation (e.g., intellectual testing, psychological evaluation, or speech/language testing) of a student, it must first obtain the signed, written consent of the student’s parent. In making an informed decision whether to provide consent, the parent is entitled to know the areas to be evaluated and the purpose of the evaluation (how the evaluation results will be used).
Once the parent provides consent, the SAU will then choose the appropriately qualified individual who will conduct the evaluation, and that individual will exercise professional judgment in determining the specific assessment tools to be administered.
When a parent fails to provide consent for evaluation, the SAU may, but is not required to, request a due process hearing in an effort to obtain the authorization for the evaluation from a Hearing Officer. The regulations governing the evaluation process can be found in the Maine Unified Special Education Regulation Birth to Age 20 (MUSER) Section V.