Psychological services, including assessment and counseling, are sometimes provided by public schools at no cost to parents. These services are part of the special education program, as required by the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). This article provides basic information about free psychological evaluations and free psychological therapy for school age children.
You might have concerns for your child which could be addressed entirely through these free services, if your child is eligible to receive them. On the other hand, your child might not be eligible to receive these free services, you might prefer private treatment to the possible risks of special education placement, or you might have concerns which are best remediated through both special education services in the school and simultaneous treatment and consultation by a private psychologist. Finally, for some parent concerns, special education services and accommodations would be wholly inappropriate. This article is not intended to be either legal advice or a psychological service. The appropriate course should be decided with attention to your child's individual needs and situation. Your child's school can provide you with free information about the appropriateness of these services for your child. Typically, a school administrator, such as a counselor or assistant principal, can answer some of your basic questions. If you have difficulty getting a response from your school administrator, you should consider submitting your request for help in writing.
Dr. Nomura provides special education consultation services for parents whose children do not attend CFISD schools. For students not attending CFISD, Dr. Nomura can advise parents about obtaining FIEs and whether an FIE would appropriately address their concerns.
There are some important issues to keep in mind when considering requesting such services...
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