The Annual Admission, Review, and Dismissal (ARD) Meeting is something that excites every parent of a kid who receives special education services. Well, not really. It terrifies some of us. But since the meeting is about our kids’ education, we need to know what we need to know. Here are a few reminders to help you prepare for your child’s next meeting.
Be sure to review your child’s current Individual Education Plan (IEP) and ask these questions:
Ask for a copy of the suggested goals before the meeting. Review the goals. Keep in mind that goals need to be specific and measurable. They should be realistic and attainable in the coming year. Make notes on any questions you have about those goals. Also, remember that you can add suggestions for additional goals.
Make sure that your child has the supports needed to be successful. What accommodations help support your child? Accommodations may be shortened assignments or more time for finishing work. Does your child have needed services such as speech, occupational, or physical therapy? Does he need a behavior plan?
Don’t forget to review current laws, both state and federal. Education Service Center Region 18 has a side-by-side comparison document of federal, state board of education, and state law on special education. Local groups and agencies do parent trainings on special education issues. Find trainings to stay up-to-date on parent and student rights and responsibilities.
There’s really no reason to dread that annual ARD. If you are prepared, you will feel more at ease in the meeting. Remember, you are the greatest expert on your child. Your preparation might be what is needed for your child to have a great school career.
Detailed information about the Admission, Review, and Dismissal (ARD) can be found in this section on Education.
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