January 7, 2016 | By: Family to Family Network
Are you getting ready for your child’s yearly IEP (Individual Education Program) meeting? Maybe you are meeting to make changes to their current IEP. Either way, here are some tips to help you. It is important to realize that as a parent, you are an essential part of the IEP process.
We suggest that parents focus on one to three big “needs” your child might work on over the next year or through the end of the school year. Make sure these needs are addressed in the IEP. Talk with people on your child’s IEP team before the IEP meeting to ensure you have a clear picture of your child’s Present Levels of Academic Achievement & Functional Performance.
Ask for a draft copy of your child’s PLAAPF and their proposed IEP goals so that you can participate fully at the meeting. Make sure that needs in the PLAAPF are addressed in the IEP.
Make sure that accommodations, modifications, supports, and services your child will need are very specific and written into their IEP. Also, verify that the setting is the least restrictive that works for your child. If it is not part of the IEP, how will the teachers who have to follow the IEP know what is expected?
Ask questions if you don’t understand something. Read/review the paperwork before you indicate your agreement to your child’s plan. Don’t agree at the end of the meeting if there is any part of the IEP you do not agree with or understand. The school can implement the IEP they feel is best for your child if procedural safeguards are not followed.
If you do not agree, write out your statement of disagreement and ask them to attach your statement to your child’s IEP paperwork. Then follow the process - work with the school to compromise, request a facilitated IEP or mediation, file a complaint or request due process.
There are a lot of resources to help you along the way, such as the Texas Project FIRST.
Check out our page on Education and Schools – Resources & Services for Students with Disabilities on this website. Read more about Developing an IEP: How To Get the Most out of Meetings. If you have specific questions about the process, you can call or email the Special Education Information Center at 855-773-3839 or [email protected].
With your full participation in the IEP process, your child can soar!