Searching for an Assessor for IEE for 14 year old


Looking for a great Assessor to perform IEE for my 14 year old daughter.  The school has done some testing but I am in disagreement with most of it and I suspect their may be an underlying condition to the one we are currently working with in her IEP which is ED (emotional disturbance).  The school sent a list of providers, however it looks like they bookings are mostly out until fall.  A couple names have come up on several occasions.  1.  Carina Grandison and 2. Natasha Limones.  Does anyone have any feedback on these providers or can you recommend any others who have done a great job helping your family?  What credentials should we be looking for besides a licensed school psychologist?  Is their a "medical piece" we should be adding to a thorough evaluation?

Any feedback would be appreciated. 

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Carina was great, she did an assessment of my son 5 years ago.  She's a child neuropsychologist (PhD).  We were sort of asking a similar question to you :  "what is going on here?"  If you talk with her you could tell if what she does is what you are looking for (she is not a school psychologist).  Good luck with this, it is difficult to see your child struggle, I know.

I've recommended them before, and will recommend them again, particularly if you have a 2E child. The Cal Psych Department does a very thorough job. They caught, and honed in on a specific area of learning difference. The report was good, and usable for accommodations at school. The only caveat was we needed a 504 plan, not an IEP because the student compensated well enough not to be below grade level to the point that the public schools would do an IEP. The child also had an initial eval through BUSD but they were much less thorough in identifying the specific area for remediation. Unfortunately we had to pay for the OT and other services out of pocket because it wasn't worth fighting with the school district.

I would highly recommend Carina Grandison, PhD. She conducted an IEE Neuropsych evaluation for our daughter when she was 11 that was instrumental in securing my daughter's IEP, and helped us better understand her educational needs.  Dr. Grandison impressed us as highly skilled and perceptive. And an added plus is that she worked in a very kind way with my daughter who had undergone numerous assessments by the time she met with Dr. Grandison. She observed my daughter in her classroom and school and was able to elicit helpful feedback from her teachers. She was also efficient in using our time, and was gracious and easy to work with.

We also engaged an advocate who was able to support us in making our case to school district personnel who initially seemed unable to recognize my daughter's challenges.

Carina Grandison is great- she did an evaluation on my kid a couple of years ago and was very collaborative with us. When my other kid needed neuropsych assessment Dr. Grandison had a long wait list and we found Kim Thompson who we thought was thorough and fantastic. BTW- before we met with Dr. Grandison we met with Dr. Eraklis and thought the evaluation was fine but not excellent and that impression was confirmed once we received evaluations from Drs. Grandison and Thompson. The report from Dr. Eraklis felt more lightweight and less thorough than from the other two, and wasn't that much less expensive. One thing to keep in mind- brace yourself for the cost. Our insurance didn't cover the testing and each assessment cost at least $4K (I don't remember the specifics). 

It's been a while since you posted, so I hope you have something lined up already. I have no direct experience with either Dr. Grandison or Dr. Limones, but have some general advice based on experience with multiple evaluations and assessors for my two children. I strongly recommend seeking an assessment by a neuropsychologist (but I have no specific recommendations, since the two we used are both retired now). Other professionals such as clinical psychologists can administer the tests, but in my family's experience the neuropsychologists had the background to recognize more varied patterns and interpret test results in a deeper and more comprehensive way. For example, one clinical psychologist saw a set of results as anomalous and odd, so tried to explain them in terms of some hypotheses about the child's early experiences. Later on, a neuropsychologist immediately saw the same results as indicative of a neurologically-based language deficit, which led us to effective treatment. My other piece of advice is that, in the long run, a high-quality assessment is worth the wait. I regret going ahead with the clinical psychologist's assessment rather than waiting several months longer for an appointment with a highly-regarded neuropsych. Instead, we had a misleading report and diagnosis and it delayed the appropriate diagnosis and treatment for a couple of years. I know it's hard to wait, but hang in there!