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My 8-year old daughter has been diagnosed with dyslexia by a licensed psychologist, who has referred us to Learning Ally (formerly Recording for the Blind and Dyslexic) They specialize in providing recorded books for those with learning disabilities.

I have requested audio textbooks for my daughter. Her school said that a signed form is needed from a medical doctor, not a Ph.D. If a psychologist can diagnose dyslexia and make recommendations, and the Recording for the Blind and Dyslexic accepts psychologists as certifiers, can the public school decline all recommendations and require a medical doctor’s signature?

Your question relates to whether a school district can require the authorization of a physician in order to qualify for use of Books on Tape through Recordings for the Blind and Dyslexic. The rules used by Recordings for the Blind apparently are willing to accept the diagnosis made by a psychologist, but the school district is requiring authorization from a physician.

Since physicians are generally not able to diagnose the presence of learning disabilities, the school’s requirement doesn’t seem to make much sense. However, if the school district has a policy requiring a medical evaluation in order to qualify for a particular service, the requirement of a Free Appropriate Public Education requires that the school pay for the evaluation.

Thus, if the school is not willing to accept the psychologist’s diagnosis, but requires that of an MD, the school should pay for the evaluation.

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