How do I prepare for my IEP meeting?

 

A Parent Checklist:

    • You will receive a Prior Written Notice from your child’s school with the meeting date and time, as well as a list of attendees. This information should not change without receiving another prior written notice.
    • Read your notice to see what issues will be discussed and that there is enough allotted time.

Request in writing, any relevant information you do not have prior to the day of the meeting. (Ex: Latest full and individual evaluation results, teacher progress notes, state curriculum for your child’s age-appropriate grade level, and a copy of any IEP draft that the school may have started for your child prior to the meeting.)

    • Gather reports you have for any outside therapists, doctors, tutors, or consultants.
    • Make a list of your child’s strengths and talents, and also areas you would like to see improved.
    • Make a list of things you would like your child to improve in this year. How will it benefit him/her? How will this help your child participate more?
    • Review your lists and make note of the 4-5 most important areas that you would like to see your child improve upon. These will be the basis for establishing IEP goals and objectives for your child..
    • Decide who you will bring with you to the IEP Meeting. It is often helpful to bring a spouse, friend, or family member for support and to help you take notes.

At the Meeting:

    • Ask yourself… Are these goals realistic for my child?
    • Goals should be specific and measurable. Ask what methods will be used to measure the progress for each goal and objective. Decide as a team, how often you would like progress reports.
    • Discuss modifications that your child will need to participate as much as possible with other students their age.
    • Discuss modifications your child may need for fire drills, lunch or recess support, walking to/from classes, etc.
    • Discuss Positive Behavior strategies or a Behavior Intervention Plan, if needed.
    • If your child will NOT be participating with his/her non-disabled peers in any academic or extracurricular area, ask for the reasons WHY in writing.
    • Discuss any accommodations your child will need for state assessment tests or a determination that your child will take an alternate form of assessment.
    • Statements of needed transition services should be included when your child is 14. When your child is 16, the IEP should include transition services to be provided by the school district.
    • Ask for clarification for anything you don’t understand. If it is said in the meeting, it can also be put into writing.
    • Ask for clarification, policies, laws, and procedures if something doesn’t seem right. They can provide that for you in writing. (Ex: “The district doesn’t have the funding to offer that.” — You can respond with, “I will need you to put that in writing.”)  You are your child’s best advocate!
    • Ask for the best way to contact members of your child’s IEP team with any questions or concerns you may have during the school year.

Remember that you are an EQUAL member of your child’s IEP team. Try your best to build and maintain positive relationships with your child’s IEP team members. When you have concerns, ask for a meeting to review them. An IEP is a working document. Although reviewed once a year, you can amend it any time there is a need or if the present IEP goals are not working or being met.

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This may include information on State or Federal laws regarding the rights of individuals with disabilities. While this is provided to inform or make one aware of these rights, legal definitions, or laws/regulations, it is not providing legal representation or legal advice. The participant understands that this is information to educate them not to provide them with legal representation