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Tis the IEP season

Parents~

It is spring. That means it is time for IEP (Individual Education Plan) meetings with teachers and administration. Remember, if you have a documented diagnosis for your student, schools are required to prepare an IEP and hold meetings that include you and the IEP team. They are not doing you a favor, it is a requirement because of the ADA (American Disabilities Act). Now, when I say a right, I don't mean to walk into the meeting in a combative mood. You catch more flies with honey than vinegar.

However, do your research. See what the research says about your child's disabilities and what kinds of accommodations have been successful. Make sure that everyone is aware that YOU are aware that the plan exists and must be adhered to. Teach your child to advocate as well. Follow-up at the beginning of the year to make sure that all the teachers and staff are aware of the IEP requirements and accommodations. Do not expect that they will remember every detail. After all, they have MANY students; not just your child.

I believe it is essential in the IEP meeting(s) to document a plan to have "tune-up" meetings either mid-way through each quarter. Children and young adults grow and change, so do their needs.

Remember, advocating takes practice. You must put together a plan before that IEP meeting. Be professional, courteous, respectful, but do not let your child's needs go unmet. You CAN do this!

Comments

So many parents needs this kind of support. Sometimes they get notes from the teacher about meetings with acronyms, etc. and they have no clue what to expect when they get there. I had a parent just the other day ask me what something in a teacher's note about a meeting meant. Frankly, I had no clue. I told the parent to call the school to find out. The parent did and was told-- "you'll find out when you get here". Needless to say, that parent is already feeling intimidated. This should never be the case. Parents really need people like you and the tutors that help their children to give them information and encouragement to advocate for their children.
Vernette -- I have seen the same sorts of thing happen. Parents do not necessarily know how to deal with "the system". Frankly, until they are informed, how would they? Parent after parent has been very surprised to hear about their rights===for an IEP, accommodations and more. It is often initially an adversarial position between the school and the parents. I do try to teach the parents how to persuade the school district to recognize the student/parent's rights. I teach them to fish, I guess. thanks for the feedback! You know how it is---you put things up and have no idea if anyone sees it!